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A Dissertation upon the Employment of Excrementitious Remedial 

Agents in Religion, Therapeutics, Divination, Witchcraft, 

Love-Philters, etc., in all Parts of the Globe, 

Based upon Original Notes and Personal Observation, and upon 
Compilation from over One Thousand Authorities. 



Third Cavalry, U. S. A., 

Fellow of the Ameeican Association for the Advancement of Science ; Member op the Antheo- 


Associate Member of the Victoru Institute and Philosophical SociETr of Great Britain ; 
Member op the Society of American Folk -Lore; 

AniHOE of the "Snake Dance of the Moqctis of Arizona;" "An Apache Campaign;" "Notes 
on the Theogont and Cosmogont of the Mojaves " ; "The Gentile Organization op the 
Apaches;'' "Mackenzie's Last Fight with the Cheyennes," and other works. 





CopyrigTit, 1891, 
By John G. Bourke. 

SSnibersttg iSrrss: 
John Wilson and Son, Cambhidge, U.S.A. 



T^HE subject of Scatalogic or Stercoraceous Rites and 
Practices, however repellent it may be under some of its 
aspects, is none the less deserving of the profoundest considera- 
tion, — if for no other reason than that from the former universal 
dissemination of such aberrations of the intellect, as well as of the 
religious impulses of the human race, and their present curtail- 
ment or restriction, the progress of humanity upward and onward 
may best be measured. 

Philosophical and erudite thinkers of past ages have published 
tomes of greater or less magnitude upon this subject ; among 
these authors, it may be sufficient, at this moment, to mention 
Schurig, Etmuller, Flemming, Paullini, Beckherius, Eosinus Len- 
tilius, and Levinus Lemnius. The historian Buckle regarded the 
subject as one well worthy of examination and study, as will 
appear in the text from the memoranda found in his scrap-books 
after his death. 

The philosopher Boyle is credited with the paternity of a 
work which appeared over the signature " B," bearing upon the 
same topic. 

The anonymous author or authors of the very learned pamphlet 
" Bibliotheca Scatalogica," for the perusal of which I am indebted 
to the courtesy of Surgeon John S. Billings, collected a mass of 
most valuable bibliographical references. 

Quite recently there have appeared in the " ^litterlungen 
Gesselsch.," Wien, 1888, two pages of the work of Dr. M. Hofler, 
" Volksmedicin und Aberglaube in Oberbayern Gegenwart und 
Vergangenheit," describing some of the excrementitious remedies 
still existing in the folk-medicine of Bavaria. 


But while treatises upon this subject are by no means rare, 
they are not accessible, except to those scholars who are within 
reach of the largest libraries ; and while all, or nearly all, indicate 
the association of these practices with sorcery and witchcraft, as 
well as with folk-medicine, no writer has hitherto ventured to 
suggest the distinctively religious derivation to be ascribed to 

From the moment when the disgusting " Urine Dance of the 
Zunis " was performed in the author's presence down to the hour 
of concluding this work, a careful examination has been made of 
more than one thousand treatises of various kinds and all sizes, 
from the musty pig-skin covered black letter of tlie fifteenth cen^ 
tury to the more modest but not less valuable pamphlet of later 
years. These treatises have covered the field of primitive reli- 
gion, medicine, and magic, and have likewise included a most 
liberal portion of the best books of travel and observation among 
primitive peoples in every part of the world ; not only English 
authorities, but also the writings of the best French, Spanish, 
German, Latin, Greek, Arabic, and Celtic authors are here pre- 
sented, together with an examination of what has come down to 
us from leaders of Eastern religious thought and from the monastic 
" leeches " of the Anglo-Saxons. 

A great number of examples of the use of stercoraceous reme- 
dies has been inserted under the head of " Therapeutics," for two 
excellent reasons : first, to show that the use of such remedies 
was most widely disseminated ; and secondly, to demonstrate that 
this use had been handed down from century to century. 

Had any other course been followed, objection might have been 
raised that unusual remedies, or those of eccentric practitioners 
only, had been sought for and quoted for the purpose of proving 
that Filth Pharmacy was a thoroughly consistent and fully de- 
veloped school in the science of therapeutics, from the most prim- 
itive times down to and even overlapping our own days. 

A perusal of this volume cannot fail to convince the most 
critical that it has been written in a spirit of fairness as much as 
is possible to human nature, and without prepossession or preju- 
dice in any direction. 


The fact that so many citations have been incorporated in this 
compilation without comment, may be claimed as an additional 
proof of the unbiassed character of the work. 

No collection of facts constitutes a science. All that can prop- 
erly be done with facts not positively known to be related, is to 
place them, as here placed, in juxtaposition, leaving the reader to 
frame his own conclusions ; by no other method can an author 
escape the imputation of distorting or perverting evidence. 

The great number of letters received from distinguished 
scholars in all parts of the world, from Edinburgh to New South 
Wales, attests the interest felt in this treatise, and at the same 
time places the author under obligations which words cannot 
express. Special acknowledgments are due to : — 

Professor TV. Robertson Smith, Edi- 
tor of the Eneyclopsedia Britannica. 

Major-Geneval J. G. Forlong, author 
of " The Rivers of Life," Edinburgh. 

Havelock Ellis, Esq., Editor of the 
Contemporary Science Series. 

Prof. Tyrrell S. Leith, of Bombay 
(since dead). 

Frank Rede Eowke, Esq., South 
Kensington Museum, London. 

James G. Frazer, Esq., M. A., author 
of "The Golden Bough," Trinity 
College, Cambridge. 

Dr. GusTAV Jaeger, of Stuttgart. 

Dr. J. W. KiNGSLET, of Cambridge. 

Prof. E. B. Tylor, Oxford. 

Prof. E. N. HoRSFORD, Harvard Uni- 

Prof. F. "W. Putnam, Peabody Archee- 
ological Museum, Cambridge, Mass. 

Surgeon Washington M-atthews, 
U. S. Army. 

Surgeon B. J. D. Irwin, U. S. Army. 

F. B. Ktngdon, Esq., Secretary Royal 

. Society, Sydney, New South Wales. 

J. F. Mann, Esq., Sydney, New South 

John Frazer, Esq., LL.D., Sydney, 
New South Wales. 

Capt. Henri Jouan, French Navy. 

Dr. Bernard, Cannes, France. 

Dr. Robert Fletcher. 

Dr. Franz Boas, Clark University, 
Worcester, Mass. 

Dr. Henry Stricker, Frankfort, 

Chief Engineer Melville, U. S. 

Prof. Otis T. Mason, National Mu- 
seum, Washington, D. C. 

William H. Gilder, the Arctic ex- 
plorer and writer. 

Dr. Albert S. Gatschet, Bureau of 
Ethnology, Washington, D. C. 

Rev. Henry Clay Trumbull, Editor 
of "The Sunday School Times," of 
Philadelphia, Penn. 

Hon. Lambert Tree, ex-minister to 

Andrew Lang. 

J. S. HiTTEL, San Francisco, Cal. 

M. M. H. Gaidoz, editor of " Melu- 
sine," Paris. 

Dr. S. B. Evans, Ottumwa, la. 


Rev. J. Owen Dorsey, Bureau of 
Etbnology, Washington, D. C. 

Mr. W. W. RocKHiLL, the distin- 
guished Oriental scholar and ex- 

Hon. H. T. Allen, Secretary Corean 

Mrs. F. D. Bergen, and many other 

Last, but not least, to Dr. J. Hamp- 
den PoRTEK, of the city of Wash- 
ington, whose friendly offices 
amounted practically to a collabo- 

All papers of this series which relate to the manners and usages 
of the Indians of the southwestern portion of our territory, espe- 
cially those concerning the urine dances, phallic dances, snake 
dances of the Zuiiis, Mokis, and other Pueblos ; the Navajoes of 
New Mexico ; the sun dance of the Sioux, etc., have been com- 
piled from memoranda gathered under the direction of Lieutenant- 
Genei-al P. H. Sheridan, in 1881 and 1882. Those referring to 
Apaches, etc., of Arizona ; to Northern jNIexico ; to pueblo ruins 
and cliff and cave dwellings ; to Sioux, Cheyennes, Crows, Ara- 
pahoes. Pawnees, Shoshones, Utes, and other tribes, extending 
back to 1869, were mainly obtained while the author was serving 
as aide-de-camp upon the staff of Brigadier-General George 
Crook, during the campaigns conducted by that officer against 
hostile tribes west of the Missouri, from the British line down 
into Mexico, and to a considerable extent under General Crook's 
direction, and with his encouragement and assistance. 

The translations from German texts were made by Messrs. 
Smith, Pratz, and Bunnemeyer, while for the analysis of the pills 
made out of the ordure of the Grand Lama of Thibet, the author 
desires to express his acknowledgments to Dr. W. M. Mew. 

J. G. B. 


Chaftkb Page 


11. The Urine Dance of the Zunis 4 

III. The Teast of Fools in Europe 11 

Comparison between tlie Feast of Fools and the Urine Dance. — 
The Feast of Fools traced back to most ancient times. — Dis- 
appearance of the Feast of Fools. — The " Szombatiaks " of 

IV. The Commemorative Character of Religious Festivals . . 24 

The generally sacred character of dancing. — Fray Diego 
Duran's account of the Mexican festivals. — The Urine Dance 
of the Zunis may conserve a tradition of the time when vile 
aliment was in use. 

V. Human Excrement used in Food by the Insane and Others 29 

Yl. The Employment of Excrement in Food by Savage Tribes 33 

VII. Urine in Human Food 38 

Chinook olives. — Urine in bread-making. — Human ordure 
eaten by East Indian fanatics. 

VIII. The Ordure of the Grand Lama of Thibet 42 

Hue and Dubois compared. 

IX. The Stercoranistes 54 

Un Dalai-Lamas Irlandais. 

X. The Bacchic Orgies of the Greeks 62 

Bacchic orgies in North America. — The sacrifice of the dog a 
substitution for human sacrifice. 

XI. Poisonous Mushrooms used in Ur-Orgies 65 

The mushroom drink of the Borgie well. 

XII. The Mushroom in Connection with the Fairies .... 85 

VI 11 


Chapter Paqs 

XIII. A Use of Poisonous Fungi quite probably existed 


Mushrooms and toadstools worshipped by American 
Indians. — A former use of fungus indicated in the myths 
of Ceylon, and in the laws of the Brahmins. 

XIV. TuE Onion adored by the Egyptians 94 

XV. Sacred Intoxication and Phallism 97 

XVI. An Inquiry into the Druidical Use of the Mistletoe 99 
Former employment of an infusion or decoction of mistle- 
toe. — The mistletoe alleged to have been held sacred by 
the Mound-builders. — The mistletoe festival of the Mex- 
icans. — Vestiges of Druidical rites at the present day. — 
The Linguistics of the mistletoe. 

XVII. Cow Dung and Cow Urine in Religion 112 

Cow dung also used by the Israelites. 
XVIII. Ordure alleged to have been used in Food by the 

Israelites 119 

The sacred cow's excreta a substitute for human sacrifice. — 
Human ordure and urine still used in India. 
XIX. Excrement Gods of Romans and Egyptians .... 127 
The Assyrian Venus had offerings of dung placed upon her 
altars. — The Mexican goddess Sucliiquccal eats ordure. 
— Israelitish dung-gods. 

XX. Latrines 134 

Posture in urination. 

XXI. An Inquiry into the Nature of the Rites connected 

with the Worship of Bel-Phegor 154 

XXII. Obscene Tenures 165 

XXIII. Tolls of Flatulence exacted of Prostitutes in France 168 

The sacred character of bridge-building. 

XXIV. Obscene Survivals in the Games of English Rustics . 173 
XXV. Urine and Ordure as Signs of Mourning 176 

XXVI. Urine and Ordure in Industries 177 

Tanning. — Bleaching. — Dyeing. — Plaster. — As a cure 
for tobacco. — To restore tlie odor of musk and the color 
of coral. — Cheese manufacture. — Oj)ium adulteration. — 
Egg-hatching. — Taxes on urine. — Chrysocollon. — For 
removing ink stains. — As an article of jewelry. — Tattoo- 
ing. — Agriculture. — Urine used in the manufacture of 
salt. — Preparation of sal ammoniac, phosphorus, solution 
of indigo. — Manure employed as fuel. — Smudges. — 



Chapteb Paqb 

Human and animal excreta to promote the growth of the 
hair and eradicate dandruff'. — As a means of washing 
vessels. — Filthy habits in cooking. 

XXVII. Urine in Cekemonial Aulutions 201 

XXVIII. Urine in Ceremonial Observances 206 

Stercoraceous chair of the Popes. 

XXIX. Ordure in Smoking . 214 

XXX. Courtship and Marriage 21G 

Ordure in love-philters. — Anti-philters. 

XXXI. Siberian Hospitality 228 

XXXII. Parturition 233 


XXXIII. Initiation op Warriors. — Confirmation 237 

Pearful rite of the Hottentots. — War-customs. — Arms 
and armor. 

XXXIV. Hunting and Fishing 244 

XXXV. Divination. — Omens. — Dreams 246 

XXXVI. Ordeals and Punishments, Terrestrial and Supernal 249 

XXXVII. Insults 256 

XXXVIII. Mortuary Ceremonies 261 

XXXIX. Myths 266 

XL. Urinoscopy, or Diagnosis by Urine 272 

On the influence of the emotions upon the egestse. 

XLL Ordure and Urine in Medicine 277 

Extracts from the writings of Dioscorides. — The views of 
Galen. — Sextus Placitus. — " Saxon Leechdoms." — 
Avicenna. — Miscellaneous. — Human Ordure. — Schu- 
rig's ideas regarding the use in medicine of the egestae 
of animals. — Ordure and urine in folk-medicine. — 
Occult influences ascribed to ordure and urine. — Other 
excrementitious remedies. — Hair. — Superstitions con- 
nected with the human saliva. — Cerumen or ear-wax. — 
Woman's milk. — Human sweat. — Superstitions con- 
nected with the catamenial fluid. — After-birth and 
lochise. — Human semen. — Human blood. — Human 
skin, flesh, and tallow. — Human skull. — Brain. — 
Moss growing on human skull. — Moss growing on 
statue. — Lice. — Wool. — Bones and teeth. — Mar- 
row. — Human teeth. — Tartar impurities from the 
teeth. — Renal and biliary calculi. — Human bile. — 
Bezoar stones. — Lyncurius. — Cosmetics. 


CnAPTEB Paoii 

XLII. Amulets and Talismans 370 

XLIll. Witchcraft. — Sorceky. — Charms. — Spells. — Incanta- 
tions. — Magic 373 

XLIV. A Few Remarks upon Temple or Sacred Prostitution, 


XLV. Cures by Transplantation 411 

XLVI. The Use of the Lingam in India 42S 

XLVII. Phallic Superstitions in France and elsewhere . . 431 

XL VIII. Burlesque Survivals 432 

The use of bladders ia religious ceremonies. 

XLIX. The Worship of Cocks and Hens 440 

The Spanish- Americaa sport of " Correr el Gallo," and the 
English pastime of " Throwing at ' Shrove Cocks.' " — 
The scarabseus of Egypt. 

L. The Persistence of Filth Remedies 456 

LI. An Explanation of the Reason why Human Ordure 
AND Human Urine were employed in Medicine 

and Religious Ceremonies 459 

LII. Easter Eggs 461 

LIII. The Use of Bladders in making Excrement Sausages 464 
LIV. Conclusion 467 


INDEX 485 






" The proper study of mankind is man." 

" The study of man is the study of man's religion." — Max MiJLLER. 

•• Few who will give their minds to master the general principles of savage 
religion will ever again think it ridiculous. . . . Far from its beliefs and practices 
being a rubbish heap of miscellaneous folly, they are consistent and logical in so 
high a degree as to begin, as soon as even roughly classified, to display the princi- 
ples of their formation and development ; and these principles prove to be essen- 
tially rational, though working in a mental condition of intense and inveterate 
ignorance." — Primitive Culture, E. B. Tylor, New York, 1874, vol. i. p. 21. 

T^HE object of the present monograph is to arrange in a form for 
-^ easy reference such allusions as have come under the author's 
notice bearing upon the use of human or animal ordure or urine or 
articles apparently intended as substitutes for them, whether in rites 
of a clearly religious or "medicine" type, or in those which, while not 
pronouncedly such, have about them suggestions that they may be sur- 
vivals of former urine dances or ur-orgies among tribes and peoples from 
whose later mode of life and thought they have been eliminated. 

The difficulties surrounding the elucidation of this topic will no 
doubt occur to every student of anthropology or ethnology. The rites 
and practices herein spoken of are to be found only in communities 
isolated from the world, and are such as even savages would shrink 
from revealing unnecessarily to strangers ; while, too frequently, obser- 
vers of intelligence have failed to improve opportunities for noting the 
existence of rites of this nature, or else, restrained by a false modesty, 
have clothed their remarks in vague and indefinite phraseology, forget- 



ting that as a physician, to be skilful, must study his patients both in 
sickness and in health, so the anthropologist must study man, not 
alone wherein he reflects the grandeur of his Maker, but likewise in 
his grosser and more animal propensities. 

When the first edition of " Notes and Memoranda," etc., upon this 
subject, was distributed by the Smithsonian Institution, the author was 
prepared to believe that, to a large and constantly increasing circle of 
scholars, the subject would prove of unusual interest, and that, to re- 
peat the words of a gi-eat emperor, as quoted by a greater philosopher, 
all belonging to primitive man was worthy of scrutiny and examination 
by those who would become familiar with his history and evolution. 

" We ought to be able to say, like the Emperor Maximilian, * home 
sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto,' or translating his words lite- 
rally, ' I am a man ; nothing pertaining to man I deem foreign to my- 
self.' " — (Max Miiller, " Chips from a German "Workshop." Maximilian 
was using a citation from Terence.) 

The author also felt that to such a circle it would not be necessary 
for him to make an apology analogous to that with which Pellegrini 
sought to defend the noble profession of medicine in the early days of 
printing.^ But it was with no inconsiderable amount of pride that he 
saw his pamphlet honored by the earnest attention of men eminent in 
the world of thought, who by suggestion and criticism, given in kind- 
ness and received with gratitude, have contributed to the amplification 
of the original " Notes and Memoranda " into the present treatise. 

That these disgusting rites are distinctively religious in origin, no 
one, after a careful perusal of all that is to be presented upon that 
head, will care to deny ; and that their examination will be productive 
of important results will be equally incontrovertible when that exami- 

* John Baptist Pellegrini, wlio wrote an "Apologia . . . adversus Pliilosophiae 
et Medicinae calumniatores," at P>ononiae (Bologna), 1082, uses only this expres- 
sion, " Qiianivis humanis corporis excrementa conspicienda considerandaque esse 
praecipiat non tamen jiropter hoc aliquid suae nobilitati et proestantiae detrahitur," 
p. 190. He means that the nobility of the medical profession is in no manner im- 
paired by the fact that the good physician examines the egestae of his patient. 
" However disgusting the subject may appear to such readers who do not consider it 
in the light of science, the article is a fair specimen of the maxim that, for a sci- 
entific mind, nothing is too abject or insignificant for consideration ; and it also 
illustrates the other principle, that to the pure everything is pure. Many of the 
rites described in these pages show how deeply engraved in the human mind is the 
tendency of symbolizing, anthromorphizing, and deifying abstract ideas and phe- 
nomena of nature." — (Extract from review by Dr. Alfred Gatchett, Bureau of Eth- 
nology, in "Folk-Lore Journal," Boston, Mass.) 


nation shall be conducted on the broad principle that the benefit or 
detriment mankind may have received from religion in general or from 
any particular form of religion, can be ascertained only by a compari- 
son between man's actions and principles of conduct in the earliest 
stages of culture, and those observable while actuated by the religious 
sentiment of the present day. 

Hebrews and Christians will discover a common ground of congratu- 
lation in the fact that believers in their systems are now absolutely 
free from any suggestion of this filth taint, every example to the con- 
trary being in direct opposition to the spirit and practice of those two 
great bodies to which the world's civilization is so deeply indebted. 

But under another point of view, the study of primitive man is an 
impossibility and an absurdity unless prosecuted as an investigation 
into his mode of religious thought, since religion guided every thought 
and deed of his daily life. Rink, after saying that the " whole study 
of prehistoric man . . . which has hitherto almost exclusively been 
founded upon the study of the ornaments, weapons, and other remains of 
primitive peoples," must in future be based upon an inquiry into their 
spiritual thought, remarks that " The time will surely come when any 
relic of spiritual life brouglit down to us from prehistoric mankind, 
which may still be found in the folk-lore of the more isolated and prim- 
itive nations, will be valued as highly as those primitive remains." — 
(" Tales and Traditions of the Eskimo," Rink, Edinburgh, 1875, page 6 
of Preface.) 

Repugnant, therefore, as the subject is under most points of view, 
the author has felt constrained to reproduce all that he has seen and 
read, hoping that, in the fuller consideration that all forms of primitive 
religion are now receiving, this, the most brutal, possibly, of all, may 
claim some share of examination and discussion. To serve as a nucleus 
for notes and memoranda since gleaned, the author has reproduced his 
original monograph, first published in the Transactions of the Ameri- 
can Association for the Advancement of Science, 1885, and read by 
title at the Ann Arbor, Michigan, meeting, in the same year. 




i^X the evening of November 17, 1881, during my stay in the vil- 
^-^ lage of Zuni, New Mexico, the Neh^ie-C^ie, one of the secret 
orders of the Zunis, sent word to Mr. Frank H. Gushing,^ whose guest 
I was, that they would do us the unusual honor of coming to our house 
to give us one of their characteristic dances, which, Gushing said, was 

The squaws of the govemoi-'s family put the long living-room to 
rights, sweeping the floor and sprinkling it with water to lay the dust. 
Soon after dark the dancers entered ; they were twelve in number, two 
being boys. The centre men were naked, with the exception of black 
breech-clouts of archaic style. The hair was worn naturally, with a 
bunch of wild-turkey feathers tied in front, and one of com husks over 
each ear. White bands were painted across the face at eyes and 
mouth. Each wore a collar or neckcloth of black woollen stuff. Broad 
white bands, one inch wide, were painted around the body at the 
ravel, around the arms, the legs at mid-thighs, and knees. Tortoise- 
shell rattles hung from the right knee. Blue woollen footless leggings 
were worn with low-cut moccasins, and in the right hand each waved a 
wand made of an ear of com, trimmed with the plumage of the wild 
turkey and macaw. The others were arrayed in old, cast-off American 
Army clothing, and all wore white cotton night-caps, with corn-husks 
twisted into the hair at top of head and ears. Several wore, in addi- 
tion to the tortoise-shell rattles, strings of brass sleigh-bells at knees. 
One was more grotesquely attired than the rest, in a long India-rubber 
gossamer "overall," and with a pair of goggles, painted white, over his 
eyes. His general " get-up " was a spirited take-off upon a Mexican 
priest. Another was a very good counterfeit of a young woman. 

1 Mr. Cushing's reputation as an ethnologist is now so firmly established in two 
continents that no further reference to his self-sacrificing and invaluable labors in 
the cause of science seems to be necessar}'. 


To the accompaniment of an oblong drum and of the rattles and bells 
spoken of they shuffled into the long room, crammed with spectators of 
both sexes and of all sizes and ages. Their song was apparently a 
ludicrous reference to everything and everybody in sight, Cushing, 
Mindeleff, and myself receiving special attention, to the uncontrolled 
merriment of the red-skinned listeners. I had taken my station at 
one side of the room, seated upon the banquette, and haviiig in front 
of me a rude bench or table, upon which was a small coal-oil lamp. 
I suppose that in the halo diffused by the feeble light, and in my 
" stained-glass attitude," I must have borne some resemblance to the 
pictures of saints hanging upon the walls of old Mexican churches ; 
to such a fancied resemblance I at least attribute the performance 
which followed. 

The dancers suddenly wheeled into line, threw themselves on their 
knees before my table, and with extravagant beatings of breast began 
an outlandish but faithful mockery of a Mexican Catholic congrega- 
tion at vespers. One bawled out a parody upon the pater-noster, an- 
other mumbled along in the manner of an old man reciting the rosary, 
while the fellow with the India-rubber coat jumped up and began a 
passionate exhortation or sermon, which for mimetic fidelity was 
incomparable. This kept the audience laughing with sore sides 
for some moments, until, at a signal from the leader, the dancers 
suddenly countermarched out of the room in single file as they had 

An interlude followed of ten minutes, during which the dusty floor 
was sprinkled by men who spat water forcibly from their mouths. 
The Nehue-Cue re-entered ; this time two of their number were stark 
naked. Their singing was very peculiar, and sounded like a chorus of 
chimney-sweeps, and their dance became a stiff-legged jump, with heels 
kept twelve inches apart. After they had ambled around the room 
two or three times, Cushing announced in the Zuiii language that a 
" feast " was ready for them, at which they loudly roared their appro- 
bation, and advanced to strike hands with the munificent " America- 
nos," addressing us in a funny gibberish of broken Spanish, English, 
and Zufii. They then squatted upon the ground and consumed with 
zest large " ollas " full of tea, and dishes of hard tack and sugar. As 
they were about finishing this a squaw entered, carrying an " olla " of 
urine, of which the filthy brutes drank heartily. 

I refused to believe the evidence of my senses, and asked Cushing if 
that were really human urine. " Why, certainly," replied he, " and 


here comes more of it." This time it was a large tin pailful, not less 
than two gallons. I was standing by the squaw as she oflFered this 
strange and abominable refreshment. She made a motion with her 
hand to indicate to me that it was urine, and one of the old men re- 
peated the Spanish word mear (to urinate), while my sense of smell 
demonstrated the truth of their statements. 

The dancers swallowed great draughts, smacked their lips, and, amid 
the roaring merriment of the spectators, remarked that it was very, 
very good. The clowns were now upon their mettle, each trying to 
surpass his neighbors in feats of nastiness. One swallowed a fragment 
of corn-husk, saying he thought it very good and better than bread ; 
his vis-h-vis attempted to chew and gulp down a piece of filthy rag. 
Another expressed regret that the dance had not been held out of 
doors, in one of the plazas ; there they could show what they could do. 
There they always made it a point of honor to eat the excrement of 
men and dogs. 

For my own part, I felt satisfied with the omission, particularly as 
the room, stufied with one hundred Zunis, had become so foul and 
filthy as to be almost unbearable. The dance, as good luck would 
have it, did not last many minutes, and we soon had a chance to run 
into the refreshing night air. 

To this outline description of a disgusting rite, I have little to add. 
The Zuiiis, in explanation, stated that the Nehue-Cue were a Medicine 
Order, which held these dances from time to time to inure the stomachs 
of members to any kind of food, no matter how revolting. This state- 
ment may seem plausible enough when we understand that religion 
and medicine, among primitive races, are almost always one and the 
same thing, or at least so closely intertwined, that it is a matter of 
difficulty to decide where one begins and the other ends.* 

Religion, in its dramatic ceremonial, preserves, to some extent, the 
history of the particular race in which it dwells. Among nations of 
high development, miracles, moralities, and passion plays have taught, 
down to our own day, in object lessons, the sacred history in which the 

1 There are three secret orders in Zuni, — the "Zuni," the "Knife," and the 
" Nehue-Cue." The object of the latter is said to be to teach fortitude to its mem- 
bers, as well as to teach them the therapeutics of stomachic disorders, etc. In their 
dances they resort to the horrible practice of drinking human urine, eating human 
excrement, animal excrement, and other nastiness which can only be believed by 
seeing it." — (Extract from the Personal Notes of Captain Bourke, November 16, 


spectators believed. Some analogous purpose may have been held iu 
view by the first organizers of the urine dance. Iu their early history, 
the Zunis and other Pueblos suffered from constant warfare with sav- 
age antagonists and with each other. From the position of their vil- 
lages, long sieges must of necessity have been sustained, in which sieges 
famine and disease, no doubt, were the allies counted upon by the in- 
vesting forces. We may have in this abominable dance a tradition of 
the extremity to which the Zunis of the long ago were reduced at some 
unknown period. A similar catastrophe in the history of the Jews is 
intimated in 2 Kings xviii. 27 ; and again in Isaiah xxxvi. 12 : " But 
Kab-shakeh said imto them : hath my master sent me to thy master, 
and to thee to speak these words 1 hath he not sent me to the men 
which sit on the wall, that they may eat their oion dung and drink their 
own piss with you ? " In the course of my studies I came across a ref- 
erence to a very similar dance, occurring among one of the fanatical 
sects of the Arabian Bedouins, but the journal in which it was recorded, 
the " London Lancet," I think, was unfortunately mislaid,^ 

As illustrative of the tenacity with which such vile ceremonial, once 
adopted by a sect, will adhere to it and become ingrafted upon its life, 
long after the motives which have suggested or commended it have 
vanished in oblivion, let me quote a few lines from Max Miiller'a 
" Chips from a German Workshop," *' Essay upon the Parsees," pp. 
163, 164, Scribner's edition, 1869 : " The nirang is the urine of a cow, 
ox, or she-goat, and the rubbing of it over the face and hands is the 
second thing a Parsee does after getting out of bed. Either before 
applying the nirang to the face and hands, or while it remains on the 
hands after being applied, he should not touch anything directly with 
his hands ; but, in order to wash out the nirang^ he either asks some- 
body else to pour water on his hands, or resorts to the device of taking 
hold of the pot through the intervention of a piece of cloth, such as a 
handkerchief or his sudra, — that is, his blouse. He first pours water 
on his hand, then takes the pot in that hand and washes his other 
hand, face, and feet." — (Quoting from Dadabhai-Xadrosi's " Descrip- 
tion of the Parsees.") 

^ " There must, I think, be some mistake about the fanatical dance of Arabian 
Bedouins ; probably one of the wild practices of Moslem Dervishes was described in 
the source you have mislaid. These practices are Turkish or Persian, not Arabian, 
in origin. The Rifar Dervishes eat live serpents and scorpions, and, I dare say, 
perform still more disgusting acts." — (Personal letter from Professor W. Robertsoa 
Smith, Christ's College, Cambridge, England.) 


Continuing, Max Mliller says : " Strange as this process of purifica- 
tion may appear, it becomes perfectly disgusting when we are told that 
women, after childbirth, have not only to undergo this sacred ablution, 
but actually to drink a little of the nirang, and that the same rite is 
imposed on children at the time of their investiture with the Sudra 
and Koshti, — the badges of the Zoroastrian faith." 

Before proceeding further it may be advisable to clinch the fact that 
the Urine Dance of the Zuiiis was not a sporadic instance, peculiar to 
that pueblo, or to a particular portion of that pueblo ; it was a tribal 
rite, recognized and commended by the whole community, and entering 
into the ritual of all the pueblos of the Southwest. 

Upon this point a few words from the author's personal journal of 
Nov. 24, 1881, may well be introduced to prove its existence among 
the Moquis, — the informant, Nana-je, being a young Moqui of the 
strictest integrity and veracity : " In the circle I noticed Naua-je and 
the young Nehue-cue boy who was with us a few nights since. During 
a pause in the conversation I asked the young Nehue if he had been 
drinking any urine lately. This occasioned some laughter among the 
Indians ; but to my surprise Nana-je spoke up and said : * I am a Ne- 
hue also. The ^'ehue of Zuni are nothing to the same order among the 
Moquis. There the Nehue not only drink urine, as you saw done the 
other night, but also eat human and animal excrement. They eat it 
hei-e too ; but we eat all that is set before us. We have a medicine 
which makes us drunk like whiskey ; we drink a lot of that before we 
commence ; it makes us drunk. We don't care what happens ; and 
nothing of that kind that we eat or drink can ever do us any harm.* 
The Nehue-cue are to be found in all the pueblos on the Rio Grande 
and close to it ; only there they don't do things openly." 

In addition to the above, we have the testimony of Mr. Thomas V. 
Keam, who has lived for many years among the Moquis, and who con- 
firms from personal observation all that has been here said. 

The extracts from personal correspondence with Professor Bandelier 
.are of special value, that gentleman having devoted years of pains- 
taking investigation to the history of the Pueblos, and acquired a most 
intimate knowledge of them, based upon constant personal observation 
and scholarship of the highest order. 

In a personal letter, dated Santa Fe, N. M., June 7, 1888, he tells, 
among much other most interesting information, that he saw at the 
Pueblo of Cochiti, on Nov. 10, 1880, "the Koshare eating their own 


The following description of the " Club-house " of the Nehue-cue 
may be of interest : *' It was twenty-one jjaces long, nine paces wide, 
with a banquette running round on three sides ; in front of the altar 
were sacred bowls of earthenware, with paintings of tadpoles to typify 
water of summer, frogs for perennial water, and the sea-serpent for 
ocean water, (riicy describe the sea-serpent {vibora del mar) as very 
large, with feathers (spray 1) on its head, eating people who went into 
the water, and when cut up with big knives yielding a great deal of 
oil.) In the first ot the sacred dishes was a conch-shell from the sea, 
wands made of ears of corn, with hearts of chalchihuitl, and exterior 
ornamentation of the plumage of the paiTot and turkey. Bowls of 
sacred meal {kunque) were on the floor ; this sacred meal, to be found 
in niches in the house of every Zuni, or for that matter of almost every 
pueblo throughout New Mexico and Arizona, is generally made of a 
mixture of blue corn-meal, shells, and chalchihuitl ; but for more 
solemn occasions, as the old Indian Pedro Pino assured me, sea-sand 
is added. Around the room at intervals were pictographs of birds, — 
ducks and others, — nine in number on one side, and nine of clown- 
gods on the other. These pictures were fairly well delineated in black 
and in red and yellow ochre. The god of " The Winged Knife " was 
represented back of the altar. In this room were also kept several of 
the painted oblong wooden drums seen in every sacred dance." — (Ex- 
tract from personal notes of Captain Bourke, Nov. 17, 1881.) 

" Have you ever, while in New Mexico, witnessed the dance of that 
cluster or order called the " Ko-sha-re " among the Queres, " Ko-sa-re " 
among the Tehuas, and "Shu-re" among the Tiguasl I have wit- 
nessed it several times ; and these gentlemen, many of whom belong to 
the circle of my warm personal friends, display a peculiar appetite 
for what the human body commonly not only rejects, but also ejects. 
I am sorry that I did not know of your work any sooner, as else I could 
have given you very full descriptions of these dances. The cluster in 
question have a very peculiar task, inasmuch as the ripening of all 
kinds of fruits is at their charge, even the fruit in the mother's womb, 
and their rites are therefore of sickening obscenity. The swallowing 
of excrements is but a mild performance in comparison with what I 
have been obliged to see and witness." — (Letter from Professor Band e- 
lier, dated at Santa Fe, N. M., April 25, 1888.) 

Major Ferry, whom the author met in the office of General Robert 
McFeely, Acting Secretary of War, Oct. 5, 1888, stated that he was 
the son of the first Protestant missionary to build a church at Macki- 


naw, and that the Indians of the Ojibway tribe who lived in the neigh- 
borhood of that post indulged from time to time in orgies in which the 
drinking of urine was a feature. 

Mr. Daniel W. Lord, a gentleman who was for a time associated with 
Mr. Frank H. Gushing in his investigations among the Zunis of New 
Mexico, makes the following statement : — 

" In June, 1888, I was a spectator of an orgy at the Zuni pueblo in 
New Mexico. The ceremonial dance of that afternoon had been finished 
in the small plaza generally used for dances in the northwestern |)art 
of the pueblo when this supplementary rite took place. One of tlie 
Indians brought into the plaza the excrement to be employed, and it 
was passed from hand to hand and eaten. Those taking part in the 
ceremony were few in number, certainly not more than eight or ten. 
They drank urine from a large shallow bowl, and meanwhile kept up a 
running fire of comments and exclamations among themselves, as if 
urging one another to drink heartily, which indeed they did. At 
last one of those taking part was made sick, and vomited after the 
ceremony was over. The inhabitants of the pueblo upon the house- 
tops overlooking the plaza were interested spectators of the scene. 
Some of the sallies of the actors were received with laughter, and 
others with signs of disgust and repugnance, but not of disapprobation. 
The ceremony was not repeated, to my knowledge, during my stay at 
the pueblo, which continued till July, 1889." — (Personal letter to 
Captain Bourke, dated Washington, D. C, May 26, 1890.) 




/^ILOSELY corresponding to this ui'ine dance of the Zuiiis was the 
^-^ Feast of Fools in Continental Europe, the description of which 
here given is quoted from Dulaure : — 

"La grand'messe commen9ait alors; tous les ecclesiastiques y assis- 
taient, le visage barbouille de noir, ou couvert d'un masque hideux ou 
ridicule. Pendant la celebration, les uns, vetus en baladins ou en femmes, 
dansaient au milieu du choeur et y chantaient des chansons boufFones 
ou obscenes. Les autres venaient manger sur I'autel des saucisses et 
des boudins, jouer aux cartes ou aux dez, devant le pretre celebrant, 
I'encensaient avec un encensoir, ou brulaient de vieilles savates, et lui 
en faisaient respirer la fumee. 

" Apres la messe, nouveaux actes d'extravagance et d'impiete. Les 
pretres, confondus avec les habitans des deux sexes, couraient, dan- 
saient dans I'eglise, s'excitaient a toutes les folies, a toutes les actions 
licencieuses que leur inspirait une imagination effrenee. Plus de honte, 
plus de pudeur ; aucune digue n'arretait le debordement de la folie et 
des passions. . . . 

" Au milieu du tumulte, des blasphemes et des chants dissolus, on 
voyait les uns se depouiller entierement de leurs habits, d'autres se 
livrer aux actes du plus honteux libertinage. 

"... lies acteurs, montes sur des tombereaux pleins d'ordures, 
s'amusaient k en jeter k la populace qui les entouraient. . . . Ces 
scenes etaient toujours accompagnees de chansons ordurieres et impies." 
— (Dulaure, "Des Divinites Generatrices," chap. xv. p. 315 et seq., 
Paris, 1825.) 


In the above description may be seen that the principal actors (tak- 
ing possession of the church during high mass) had their faces daubed 


aud painted, or masked in a harlequin manner ; that they were dressed 
as clowns or as women ; that they ate upon the altar itself sausages 
and blood-puddings. Now the word " blood-pudding " in French is 
boudin ; hut boudin also meant "excrement." ^ Add to this the fea- 
ture that these clowns, after leaving the church, took their stand in 
dung-carts {tombereaux), and threw ordure upon the by-standers ; and 
finally that some of these actors appeared perfectly naked (" on voyait 
les uns se depouiller entierement de leurs habits "), aud it must be ad- 
mitted that there is certainly a wonderful concatenation of resemblances 
between these filthy and inexplicable rites on different sides of a great 


Dulaure makes no attempt to trace the origin of these ceremonies in 
France ; he contents himself with saying, " Ces ceremonies . . . ont 
subsiste pendant douze ou quinze siecles," or, in other words, that 
they were of Pagan origin. In twelve or fifteen hundred years the 
rite might have been well sublimed from the eating of pure excrement, 
as among the Zunis, to the consumption of the boudin, the excrement 
symbol.** Conceding for the moment that this suspicion is correct, we 
have a proof of the antiquity of the urine dance among the Zunis. So 
great is the resemblance between the Zuiii I'ite and that just described 
by Dulaure that we should have reason for believing that the new coun- 
try boiTowed from the old some of the features transmitted to the 
present day ; and were there not evidence of a wider distribution of this 
observance, it might be assumed that the Catholic missionaries (who 
worked among the Zunis from 1580, or thereabout, and excepting dur- 
ing intervals of revolt remained on duty in Zufii down to the period of 
American occupation) found the obscene and disgusting orgy in full 
vigor, and realizing the danger, by unwise precipitancy, of destroying 
all hopes of winning over this people, shrewdly concluded to tacitly ac- 
cept the religious abnormality and to engraft upon it the plant flourish- 
ing so bravely in the vicinity of their European homes. 

* See in Dictionary of French and English Language, by Ferdinand E. A. Gasc, 
London, Bell and Daldy, York Street, Covent Garden, 1873. 

Littre, whose work appeared in 1863, gives as one of bis definitions, "anything 
that is shaped like a sausage." 

Bescherelle, Spiers and Surenne, and Boyer, do not give Case's definition. 

' Aud very probably a phallic symbol also. 



In France the Feast of Fools disappeared only with the French 
Eevoliition ; in other parts of Continental Europe it began to wane 
about the time of the Eeformation. In England, " the abbot of un- 
reason," whose pranks are outlined by Sir Walter Scott in his novel 
" The Abbot," the miracle plays which had once served a good pur- 
pose in teaching Scriptural lessons to an illiterate peasantry, and the 
"moralities " of tlie same general purport, faded away under the stern 
antagonism of the Puritan iconoclast. The Feast of Fools, as such, was 
abolished by Henry VIIL a. D. 1541. — (See "The English Reforma- 
tion," Francis Charles Massiugberd, London, 1857, p. 125.)* 

Picart's account of the Feast of Fools is similar to that given by 
Dulaure. He says that it took place in the church, at Christmas tide, 
and was borrowed from the Pioman Saturnalia ; was never approved 
of by the Christian church as a body, but fought against from the 
earliest times : — 

" Les uns etoient masques ou avec des visages barbouilles qui faisoient 
peur ou qui faisoient rire ; les autres en habits de femmes ou de panto- 
mimes, tels que sont les ministres du theatre. 

" lis dansoient dans le choeur, en entrant, et chantoient des chansons 
obsceues, Les Diacres et les sou-diacres prenoient plaisir ^ manger des 
boudins et des saucisses sur I'autel, au nez du pretre celebrant ; ils 
jouoient a des jeux aux cartes et aux des ; ils mettoient dans Tencensoir 
quelques morceaux de vieilles savates pour lui faire respirer une 
mauvaise odeur. 

" Apres la messe, chacun couroit, sautoit et dansoit par I'eglise avec 
tant d'impudence, que quelques uns n'avoient pas honte de se porter a 
toutes sortes d'indecences et de se depouillier entierement ; ensuite, ils se 
faisoient trainer par les rues dans des tombereaux pleins d'ordures, d'ou 
ils prenoient plaisir d'en jeter a la populace qui s'assembloit autour d'eux. 

" lis s'arretoient et faisoient de leurs corps des raouvements et des 
postures lascives qu'ils accompagnoient de paroles impudiques, 

" Les plus impudiques d'entre les seculiers se meloient parmi le 
cbrge, pour faire aussi quelques personnages de Foux en habits ecclesi- 
astiques de Moines et de Religieuses." — (Picart, " Coutumes et Cere- 

* Faber advances the opinion that the " mummers " or clowns who figured iu 
the pastimes of "the abbot of unreason," etc., bear a strong resemblance to the 
animal-headed Egyptian priests in the sacred dances represented on the Bembine or 
Isiac table. (See Faber's "Pagan Idolatry," London, 1816, vol. iu p. 479.) 


monies r^ligieuses de toutes les Nations du Monde," Amsterdam, Hol- 
land, 1729, vol. ix. pp. 5, 6). 

Diderot and d'Alembert use almost the same terms ; the officiating 
clergy were clad "les uns comme des bouffons, les autres en habits de 
femmes ou masques d'une fajon monstrueuse , . . ils mangeaieut et 
jouaient aux des sur I'autel a cote du pretre qui celebroit la messe. Ils 
mettoient des ordures dans les encensoirs." They say that the details 
would not bear repetition. This feast prevailed generally in Continental 
Europe from Christmas to Epiphany, and in England, especially in 
York. — (Diderot and D'Alembert, Encyclopaedia, "Fete des Fous," 
Geneva, Switzerland, 1779.) 

Markham discovers a resemblance between the " Monk of Misrule " 
of Christendom in the Middle Ages, and "Gylongs dressed in parti- 
colored habits . . . singing and dancing before the Teshu Lama in 
Thibet." — (See Markham's " Thibet," London, 1879, page 95, footnote. 
See also Bogle's description of the ceremonies in connection with the 
New Year, in presence of the Teshu Lama, in Markham's " Thibet," 
p. 106.) 

The Mandans had an annual festival one of the features of which 
was " the expulsion of the devil ... He was chased from the village 
. . . the women pelting him with dirt." — ("The Golden Bough," 
Frazer, London, 1890, vol. ii. p. 184, quoting Catlin's "North Ameri- 
can Indians," page 166.) 

The authors who have referred at greater or less length, and with 
more or less preciseness, to the Feast of Fools, Feast of Asses, and 
others of that kind, are legion; unfortunately, without an exception, 
they have contented themselves with a description of the obscene 
absurdities connected with these popular religious gatherings, without 
attempting an analysis of the underlying motives which prompted 
them, or even making an intelligent effort to trace their origin. Where 
the last has been alluded to at all, it has almost invariably been with 
the assertion that the Feast of Fools was a survival from the Roman 

This can scarcely have been the case ; in the progress of this work 
it is purposed to make evident that the use of human and animal egestre 
in religious ceremonial was common all over the world, antedating the 
Roman Saturnalia, or at least totally unconnected with it. The correct 
interpretation of the Feast of Fools would, therefore, seem to be that 
which recognized it as a reversion to a pre-Christian type of thought 
dating back to the earliest appearance of the Aryan race in Europe. 


The introduction of the Christian religion was accompanied by many 
compromises ; wherever it was opposed by too great odds, in point of 
numbers, it permitted the retention of practices repugnant to its own 
teachings ; or, if the term " permitted " be an objectionable one to 
some ears, we may substitute the expression " acquiesced in " for " per- 
mitted," and then follow down the course of persistent antagonism, 
which, after a while, modified permanent retention into a periodical, 
perhaps an iri-egular, resumption, and this last into burlesque 

Ducange, in his " Glossarium," introduces the Ritual of the Mass at 
the Feast of the Ass, familiar to most readers, — but he adds nothing 
to what has already been quoted in regard to the Feast of Fools 

This reference from Ducange will also be found in Schaff-Herzog, 
"Religious Encyclopsedia," New York, 1882, article "Festival." This 
Ritual was written out iu 1369 at Viviers in France. 

Fosbroke gives no information on the subject of the Feast of Fools 
not already incorporated in this volume. He simply says : " In the 
Feast of Fools they put on masks, took the dress, etc., of women, 
danced and sung in the choir, ate fat cakes upon the horn of the altar, 
where the celebrating priest played at dice, put stinking stuff from the 
leather of old shoes in the censer, jumped about the church, with the 
addition of obscene jests, songs, and unseemly attitudes. Another part 
of this indecorous buffoonery was shaving the precentor of fools upon 
a stage, erected before the church, in the presence of the people ; and 
during the operation he amused them with lewd and vulgar discourses 
and gestures. They also had carts full of ordure which they threw 
occasionally upon the populace. This exhibition was always in Christ- 
mas time or near it, but was not confined to a particular day." — 
(Rev. Thomas Dudley Fosbroke, "Cyclopaedia of Antiquities," Lon- 
don, 1843, vol. 2, article "Festivals." Most of his information seems 
to be derived from Ducange.) 

" The Feast of Fools was celebrated as before in various masquer- 
ades of Women, Lions, Players, etc. They danced and sung in the 
choir, ate fat cakes upon the honi of the altar, where the celebrating 
priest played at dice, put stinking stuff from the leather of old shoes 
into the censer, ran, jumped, etc., through the church."^ 

1 " However horrible was this profanation, I could quote a passage where in part 
of a curious penance actions most indecent were to be publicly performed upon the 
altar-table ; and therefore our ancestors had plainly not the same ludicrous ideas of 


In Braud's "Popular Antiquities," London, 1873, vol. 3, pp. 497- 
505, will be found a pretty full description of the Lords of Misrule, 
but the only reference of value for our purposes is one from Polydorus 
Virgil, who recognized the derivation of these Feasts from the Eoman 
Saturnalia. " There is nothing," says the author of the essay to re- 
trieve the Ancient Celtic, " that will bear a clearer demonstration than 
that the primitive Christians, by way of conciliating the Pagans to a 
better worship, humored tlieir prejudices by yielding to a conformity 
of names and even of customs, where they did not interfere with the 
fundamentals of the Christian doctrine. . . . Among these, in imita- 
tion of the Roman Saturnalia, was the Festum Fatuorum, when part 
of the jollity of the season wns a burlesque election of a mock-pope, 
mock-cardinals, mock-bishops, attended with a thousand ridiculous 
and indecent ceremonies, gambols, and antics, such as singing and 
dancing in the churches, in lewd attitudes, to ludicrous anthems, all 
allusively to the exploded pretensions of the Druids whom these sports 
were calculated to expose to scorn and derision. This Feast of Fools," 
continues he, " had its designed effect, and contributed perhaps more 
to the extermination of these heathens than all the collateral aids of 
fire and sword, neither of which were spared in the persecution of 
them." — (Brand, "Popular Antiquities," London, 1872, vol. i. p. 36.) 

Strutt's " Spoi-ts and Pastimes," edition of London, 1855, article 
"Festival of Fools," in lib. iv. cap. 3, contains nothing not already 

Jacob Grimm, "Teutonic Mythology" (Stally brass), London, 1882, 
vol. i. p. 92, has the following : — 

" The collection of the Letters of Boniface has a passage lamenting 
the confusion of Christian and heathen rites into which foolish or reck- 
less priests had suffered themselves to fall." 

Banier shows that on the First of January the people of France ran 
about the streets of their towns, disguised as animals, masked and 
playing all sorts of pranks. This custom was derived from the Druids 
and lasted in full vigor "to the twelfth century of the Christian era." 
— ("Mythology," Banier, vol. iii. p. 247.) 

" The heathen gods even, though represented as feeble in compari- 
son with the true God, were not always pictured as powerless in them- 
selves; they were perverted into hostile, malignant powers, into 

these mummeries as ourselves. They were the mere coarse festivities of the age 
which delighted in low liumor." — (Fosbroke, "British Monachism," 2d edition, 
London, 1817, quoted principally from Ducange.) 


demons, sorcerers, aud giants, who had to be put down, but were 
nevertheless credited with a certain mischievous activity and influence. 
Here and there a heathen tradition or a superstitious custom lived on 
by merely changing the names and applying to Christ, Mary, and the 
saints what had formerly been related and believed of idols." — ("Teu- 
tonic Mythology," Jacob Grimm (Stallybrass), London, 1882, vol. i. In- 
troduction, page 5.) . . . "At the time when Christianity began to press 
forward, many of the heathen seem to have entertained the notion, 
which the missionaries did all in their power to resist, of combining the 
new doctrine with the ancient faith and even of fusing them into one. 
— (Idem, p. 7.) ... Of JN^orsemen, as well as of Anglo-Saxons, we are 
told that some believed at the same time in Christ and in heathen gods, 
or at least continued to invoke the latter in particular cases in which 
they had formerly proved helpful to them. So even by Christians 
much later the old deities seem to have been named and their aid in- 
voked in enchantments and spells. — (Idem, pp. 7 and 8.) . . . The 
Teutonic races forsook the faith of their fathers very gradually and 
slowly from the fourth to the eleventh century." — (Idem. p. 8.) 

On the following pages, 9, 10, and 11, Grimm shows us how little is 
really known of the religions of ancient Europe, whether of the Latin 
or of the Teutonic or Celtic races ; he alludes to " the gradual trans- 
formation of the gods into devils, of the wise women into witches, of 
the worship into superstitious customs. — (Idem. p. 11.) Heathen festi- 
vals and customs were transformed into Christian. — (Idem, p. 12.) . . . 
Private sacrifices, intended for gods or spirits, could not be eradicated 
among the people for a long time, because they were bound up with 
customs and festivals, and might at last become an unmeaning prac- 
tice."— (Idem, vol. iii. p. 1009.) 

"It is a natural and well-known fact that the gods of one nation 
become the devils of their conquerors or successors." — (Folk-Medicine, 
William George Black, London, 1883, p. 12.) 

" Few things are so indestructible as a superstitious belief once im- 
planted in human credulity. . . , The sacred rites of the superseded 
faith become the forbidden magic of its successors." — ("History of 
the Inquisition," Henry Charles Lea, New York, 1888, vol. iii. p. 379.) 
"Its gods become evil spirits." — (Idem, p. 379.) . . . The same 
views are advanced in Madame Blavatsky's " Isis Unveiled." - 


The " Szombatiaks " of Transylvania. 

In further explanation of the tenacity with which older cults survive 
long after the newer religions seem to have gained predominance in 
countries and nations, it is extremely appropriate to introduce a pas- 
sage from an article in the "St. James' Gazette," entitled "Crypto- 
Jews," reprinted in the Sunday edition of the " Sun," New York, some- 
time in October, 1888. 

The write!', in speaking of the Szombatiaks of Transylvania, remarks : 
" The crypto-Judaism of the Szombatiaks was suspected for centuries, 
but not until twenty years ago was it positively known. Then, on the 
occasion of a Jewish emancipation act for Hungary, the sturdy old 
peasants, indistinguishable in dress, manners, and language from the 
native Szeklers, sent a deputation to Pesth to ask that their names 
might be erased from the church rolls. They explained that they 
were Jews whose forefathers had settled in Hungary at the time of 
the expedition of Titus to Dacia. Though baptized, married, and 
buried as Christians, maintaining Christian pastors, and attending 
Christian churches, they had always in secret observed their ancient 

It is a matter of surprise to find so little on the subject of the Feast 
of Fools in Forlong's comprehensive work on Eeligion. All that he 
says is that " the Yule-tide fetes were noted for men disguising them- 
selves as women, and vice versa, showing their connection with the old 
Sigillaria of the Saturnalia, which, formerly observed on the 14th of 
January, were afterwai'ds continued to three, four, five, and some say 
seven days, and by the common people even until Candlemas Day. 
Both were prohibited when their gross immoralities became apparent 
to better educated communities. ' In Paris,' says Trusler in his 
' Chronology,' * the First of January was observed as Mask Day for 
two hundred and forty years, when all sorts of indecencies and obscene 
rites occurred.'" — ("liivers of Life," Forlong, London, 1883, vol. i. 
p. 434.) 

In addition to the above, there is evidence of its survival among the 
rustic population of Germany. Brand enumerates many curious practices 
of the carnival just before Ash Wednesday, and even on that day, after 
the distribution of the ashes. Young maidens in Germany were carried 
" in a cart or tumbrel " by the youths of the village to the nearest brook 
or pond, and there thoroughly ducked, the drawers of the cart throwing 
dust and ashes on all near them. In Oxfordshire it was the custom for 


bands of boys to stroll from house to house singing and demanding lar- 
gess of eggs and bacon, not receiving which, "they commonly cut the 
latch of the door or stop the key-hole with dirt" ("Popular Antiqui- 
ties," London, 1872, vol. i. pp. 94 et seq., article " Ash Wednesday"), 
" or leave some more nasty token of displeasure " (idem). This may 
have been a survival from the Feast of Fools. Brand refers to Hos- 
pinian, *' De Origine Festorum Christianorum,'' " for several curious 
customs and ceremonies observed abroad during the three first days of 
the Quinquagesima week " (p. 99). 

Turning from the Teutonic race to the Slav, we find that the Feast 
of Fools seems still to linger among the Russian peasantry. " At one 
time a custom prevailed of going about from one friend's house to an- 
other masked, and committing every conceivable prank. Then the 
people feasted on blinnies, — a pancake similar to the Jilnglish crum- 
pet " (" A Hoosier in Russia," Perry S. Heath, New York, 1888, p. 109) ; 
all this at Christmas-tide. 

Something very much like it, without any obscene features, was 
noted by Blunt in the early years of the present century. See his 
"Vestiges," p. 119. 

Hone ("Ancient Mysteries Described," London, 1823, pp. 148 et 
seq.) thinks that a Jewish imitation of the Greek drama of the close of 
the second century, whose plot, characters, etc., were taken from the 
Exodus, was the first miracle play. The author was one Ezekiel, who 
was believed to have written it with a patriotic purpose after the de- 
struction of Jerusalem. The early Fathers — Cyril, Tertullian, Cy- 
prian, Basil, Clemens Alexandrinus, and Augustine — inveighed against 
sacred dramas ; but the outside pressure was too great, and the Church 
■was forced to yield to popular demand. 

As late as the fifteenth century Pius 11. said that the Italian priests 
had probably never read the New Testament ; and Robert Stephens 
made the same charge against the doctors of the Sorbonne in the same 

The necessity of dramatic representation wojild therefore soon out- 
weigh objections made on the score of historical anachronism or 
doctrinal inaccui*acy in these miracle plays. 

Theophylact, Patriarch of Constantinople in the tenth century, is 
credited by the Byzantine historian Cedrauus with the introduction 
of the Feast of Fools and Feast of the Ass, " thereby scandalizing 
God and the memory of his saints, by admitting into the sacred service 
diabolical dances, exclamations of ribaldry, and ballads borrowed from 


the streets and brothels." — (Hone, quoting Wharton, "Miscellaneous 
Writings upon the Drama and Fiction," vol. ii. p. 369.) 

In 1590, at Paris, the mendicant orders, led by the Bishop of Senlis, 
paraded the streets with tacked up robes, representing the Church 
Militant. These processions were believed to be the legitimate off- 
spring of heathen pageants, — that is, that of Saint Peter in Vinculis 
was believed to be the transformed spectacle in honor of Augustus's 
victory at Actium, etc. 

Beletus describes the Feast of Fools as he saw it in the twelfth cen- 
tury. His account, given by Hone (p. 159), agrees word for word with 
tliat of Dulaure, excepting that, through an error of translation per- 
haps, he is made to say that the participants " ate rich puddings on 
the comers of the altar;" but as the word "pudding" meant even in 
the English language a meat pudding or sausage, the error is an imma- 
terial one. 

Victor Hugo describes in brief the Feast of Fools as seen at Paris in 
1482, on the 6th of January. He says that the " Fete des Rois and the 
Fete des Fous were united in a double holiday siuce time immemorial." 
His description is very meagre, but from it may be extracted the in- 
formation that in these feasts of fools female actresses appeared masked ; 
that the noblest and greatest personages in the kingdom of France 
were among the prominent spectators ; but there is not much else. 
(See the opening chapters of " Notre Dame.") 

The Festival of Moharren in Persia is a kind of miracle play, or 
Passion play, commemorating the rise and progress of Islamism. 
" Among these occurrences are the deaths of Hassein and Hossein, the 
birth of the prophet, the martyrdom of the Imam llezah, and the death 
of Fatimeh, daughter of Mahomet." — (Benjamin, " Persia," London, 

This reference to the use of pudding or sausage on the altar itself is 
the most persistent feature in the descriptions of the whole ceremouy. 
But little difficulty will be experienced in showing that it was originally 
an excrement sausage, prepared and offered up, perhaps eaten, for a 
definite purpose. This phase of the subject will be considered farther 
on ; for the present only one citation need be introduced to show that 
in carnival time human excrement itself, and not the symbol, made its 
appearance : — 

" The following extract from Barnaby Googe's translation of * Nao- 
georgus* will show the extent of these festivities (that is, those of the 
carnival at Shrove Tuesday). After describing the wanton behavior of 


men dressed as women and of women arrayed in the garb of men, of 
clowns dressed as devils, as animals, or running about perfectly naked, 
the account goes on to say : — 

" * But others bear a torde, that on a cushion soft they lay ; 
And one there is that with a flap doth keep the Hies away : 
I would there might another be, an officer of those, 
Whose room might serve to take away the scent from every nose.' " — 

(Quoted in Brand, " Popular Antiquities," London, 1872, vol. i. p. 66, 
article "Shrove Tuesday.") 

The Puritan's horror of heathenish rites and superstitious vestiges 
had for its basis something far above unreasoning fanaticism ; he real- 
ized, if not through learned study, by an intuition which had all the 
force of genius, that every unmeaning practice, every rustic observance, 
which could not prove its title clear to a noble genealogy was a pagan 
survival, which conscience required him to tear up and destroy, root 
and branch. 

The Puritan may have made himself very much of a burden and a 
nuisance to his neighbors before his self-imposed task was completed, 
yet it is worthy of remark and of praise that his mission was a most 
effectual one in wiping from the face of the earth innumerable vestiges 
of pre-Christian idolatry. 

This being understood, some importance attaches to the following 
otherwise vague couplet from "Hudibras." 

"Biitler mentions the black pudding in his ' Hudibras,' speaking of 
the religious scruples of some of the fanatics of his time : — 

" ' Some for abolishing black pudding. 

And eating nothing with the blood in.' " — 

(Brand, "Popular Antiquities," London, 1872, vol. i. p. 400, article 
" Martinmas.") 

These sausages, made in links, certainly suggest the boudms of the 
Feast of Fools. They were made from the flesh, blood, and entrails of 
pork killed by several families in common on the 17th day of Decem- 
ber, known as " Sow Day." 

In the early days of the Eeformation in Germany, in the May 
games, the Pope was "portrayed in his pontificalibus riding on a great 
sow, and holding before her taster a dirty pudding." — (Harington, 
^ Ajax," p. 35.) 

The most sensible explanation of the Feast of Fools that has as yet 


appeared is to be fouud in Frazer's " Golden Bough " (London, 1890, 
vol. i. pp. 218 et seq., article " Temporary Kings"). He shows that 
the regal power was not in ancient times a life tenure, but was either 
revoked under the direction of the priestly body when the incumbent 
began to show signs of increasing age and diminishing mental powers, 
or at the expiration of a fixed period, — generally about twelve years. 
In the lapse of time the king's abdication became an empty form, and 
his renunciation of powers purely farcical, his temporary successor a 
clown who amused the fickle populace during his ephemeral assump- 
tion of honors. Examples are drawn from Babylonia, Cambodia, Siam, 
Egypt, India, etc., the odd feature being that these festivals occur at 
dates ranging from our February to April. During the festival in Siam, 
in the month of April, " the dancing Brahmans carry buffalo horns with 
which they draw water from a large copper caldron and sprinkle it 
on the people ; this is supposed to bring good luck." — (" The Golden 
Bough," James G. Fraser, M.A., London, 1890, vol. i. p. 230.) 

In the preceding paragi-aph we have a distinct survival. The buffalo 
horns may represent phalli, and the water may be a substitute for a 
liquid which to the present generation might be more objectionable. 

But upon another matter stress should be laid ; in both the Feast 
of Fools and in the Urine Dance of the Zunis, it has been shown that 
some of the actors were naked or disguised as women. 

No attempt is made to prove anything in regard to the European 
orgy, because research has thrown no light upon the reasons for which 
the participants assumed the raiment of the opposite sex. 

In the case of the Zuiiis, the author has had, from the first, a sus- 
picion, which he took occasion to communicate to Professor F. W. Put- 
nam three years since, that these individuals were of the class called 
by Father Lafitau " hommes habilies en femme," and referred to with 
such frequency by the earliest French and Spanish authorities. This 
suspicion has been strengthened by correspondence lately received 
from Professor Bandelier which is, however, suppressed at the request 
of the latter. 

In this connection, the student should not fail to read the remark- 
able contribution of A. B. Holder, M. D., of Memphis, Tennessee, in 
the New York Medical Journal of Dec. 7, 1889, entitled "The Bote : 
description of a peculiar sexual perversion found among the North 
American Indians." 

An explanation of the " hommes habilies en femme," may be sug- 
gested in the following from Boas, descriptive of certain religious 


dances of the Eskimo : " Those who were born in abnormal presenta- 
tions, wear women's dresses at this feast, and must make their round 
in a direction opposite to the movement of the sun." — (" The Central 
Eskimo," Franz Boas, in Sixth Annual Eeport, Bureau of Ethnology, 
Washington, D. C, 1888, p. 611.) 




T^HE opiaion expressed above concerning the commemorative char- 
"^ acter of religious festivals echoes that which Godfrey Higgins enun- 
ciated several generations ago. The learned author of " Auacalypsis " 
says that festivals " accompanied with dancing and music "... 
" were established to keep in recollection victories or other important 
events." (Higgins' " Anacalypsis," London, 1810, vol. ii. p. 424.) 
He argues the subject at some length on pages 424-426, but the above 
is sufficient for the present purpose. 

** In the religious rites of a people I should expect to find the ear- 
liest of their habits and customs." — (Idem, vol. i. p. 15.) 

Applying the above remark to the Zuui dance, it may be interpreted 
as a dramatic pictograph of some half-forgotten episode in tribal his- 
tory. To strengthen this view by example, let us recall the fact that 
the army of Crusaders under Peter the Hermit was so closely be- 
leaguered by the ^Moslems in Xicomedia in Bithynia that they were com- 
pelled to drink their own urine. We read the narrative set out in 
cold t}'pe. The Zuuis would have transmitted a record of the event 
by a dramatic representation which time would incrust with all the 
veneration that religion could impart. 

The authority for the above statement in regard to the Crusaders is 
to be found in Purchas, "Pilgrims," lib. 8, cap. 1, p. 1191. Neither 
Gibbon nor Michaud expresses this fact so clearly, but each speaks of 
the terrible sufferings which decimated the undisciplined hordes 
of Walter the Penniless and Peter, and reduced the survivors to 

The urine of horses was drunk by the people of Crotta while 
besieged by Metellus. — (See, in Montaigne's Essays, " On Horses," 
cap. xlviii. ; see also, in Harington, "Ajax" — "Ulysses upon Ajax," 
p. 42.) 


Shipwrecked English seamen drank human urine for want of water. 
(See in Purchas, vol. iv. p. 1188.) In the year 1877 Captain Nicho- 
las Nolan, Tenth Cavalry, while scouting with his troop after hostile 
Indians on the Staked Plains of Texas, was lost; and as supplies be- 
came exhausted, the command was reduced to living for several days 
on the blood of their horses and their own urine, water not being 
discovered in that vicinity. — (See Hammersley's Record of Living 
Officers of the United States Army.) 

History is replete with examples of the same general character; 
witness the sieges of Jerusalem, Numantia, Ghent, the famine in 
France under Louis XIV., and many others. 


" Dancing was originally merely religious, intended to assist the mem- 
ory in retaining the sacred learning which originated previous to the 
invention of letters. Indeed, I believe that there were no parts of the 
rites and cei'emonies of antiquity which were not adopted with a 
view to keep in recollection the ancient learning before letters were 
known." — (Higgins' " Anacalypsis," vol. ii. p. 179.) 

In one of the sieges of Samaria, it is recorded that " The fourth part 
of a cab of dove's dung sold for five pieces of silver." — (2 Kings, 
vi. 25.) 

There is another interpretation of the meaning of this expression, not 
so literal, which it is well to insert at this point. 

" When Samaria was besieged, the town was a prey to all the horrors 
of famine ; hunger was so extreme that five pieces of silver was the 
price given for a small measure (fourth part of a cab) of dove's dung. 
This seems, at first sight, ridiculous. But Bochart maintains very 
plausibly that this name was then and is now given by the Arabs to a 
species of vetch (^pois chiches)." — ("Philosophy of Magic," Eusebe 
Salverte, New York, 1862, vol, i. p. 70.) 

" The pulse called garbansos is believed by certain authors to be 
the dove's dung mentioned at the siege of Samaria ; . . . they have 
likewise been taken for the pigeons' dung mentioned at the siege of 
Samaria. And, indeed, as the cicer is pointed at one end and acquires 
an ash color in parching, the first of which circumstances answers to 
the figure, the other to the usual color of pigeons' dung, the supposi- 
tion is by no means to be disregarded." — ("Shaw's Travels in Bar- 
bary," in " Pinkerton's Voyages," London, 1814, vol. xv. p. 600.) 



All that Higgius believed was believed and asserted by the Dominican 
missionary Diego Duran. Diiran complains bitterly that the unwise 
destruction of the ancient Mexican pictographs and all that explained 
the religion of the natives left the missionaries in ignorance as to what 
was religion and what was not. The Indians, taking advantage of this, 
mocked and ridiculed the dogmas and ceremonies of the new creed in 
the very face of its expounders, who still lacked a complete mastery of 
the language of the conquered. The Indians never could he induced 
to admit that they still adhered to their old superstitions, or that they 
were boldly indulging in their religious observances ; many times, 
says the shrewd old chronicler, it would appear that they were merely 
indulging in some pleasant pastime, while they were really engaged in 
idolatry ; or that they were playing games, when truly they were cast- 
ing lots for future events before the priest's eyes ; or that they were 
subjecting themselves to penitential discipline, when they were sacri- 
ficing to their gods. This remark applied to all that they did. In 
dances, in baths, in markets, in singing their songs, in their dramas 
(the word is " comedia,"" a comedy, but a note in the margin of the 
manuscript says that probably this ought to be " coviida" food, or 
dinner, or feast), in sowing, in reaping, in putting away the harvest in 
their granaries, even in tilling the ground, in building their houses, 
in their funerals, in their burials, in marriages, in the birth of chil- 
dren, into eveiything they did entered idolatry and superstition. 

" Parece muchas veces pensar que estan haciendo placer y estan 
idolatrando ; 3' pensar que estan jugando y estan echando sueiies de 
los sucesos delante de nuestros ojos y no los entendemos y pensamos 
que se disciplinan y estanse sacrificando. 

" Y asi erraron mucho los que con bueno celo (pero no con mucha 
prudencia), quemaron y destruyeron al principio todas las pinturas de 
antiguallas que tenian ; pues, nos dejaron tan sin luz que delante de 
nuestros ojos idolatran y no los entendemos. 

" En los raitotes, en los baiios, en los mercados, y en los cantares que 
can tan lamentando sus Dioses y sus Senores Antiguos, en las comedias, 
en los banquetes, y en el diferenciar en el de ellas, en todo se halla 
supersticion 6 idolatria ; en el sembi-ar, en el coger, en el encerrar en 
los troges, hasta en el labrar la tierra y edificar las casas ; pues en los 
raortuorios y entierros, y en los casamientos y en los nacimientos de 
los ninos, especialmente si era hijo de algun Sefior ; eran estranas las 


ceremonias que se le hacian ; y donde todo se perfeccionaba era en la 
celebracion de las fiestas ; finalmente, en todo mezclaban supersticion e 
idolatria ; hasta eu irse a bafiarse al rio los viejos, puesto escrupulo a 
la republica siuo fuese habiendo precedido tales y tales ceremonias ; 
todo lo cual nos es encubierto por el gran secreto que tieneu." — (Diego 
Duran, lib. 2, concluding remarks.) 

Fray Diego Duran, a Fray Prcdicador of the Dominican order, says, 
at the end of his second volume, that it was finished in 1581. 

The very same views were held by Father Geronimo Boscana, a Fran- 
ciscan, who ministered for seventeen years to the Indians of California. 
Every act of an Indian's life was guided by religion. — (See "Chinig- 
chinich," included in A. A. Eobinson's "California," New York, 1850.) 

The Apaches have dances in which the prehistoric condition of the 
tribe is thus represented ; so have the Mojaves and the Zufiis ; while 
in the snake dance of the Moquis and the sun dance of the Sioux 
the same faithful adherence to traditional costume and manners is 


The Zuni dance may therefore not improperly be considered among 
other points of view, under that which suggests a commemoration of 
the earliest life of this people, when vile aliment of every kind may have 
been in use through necessity. 

An examination of evidence will show that foods now justly regarded 
as noxious were once not unknown to nations of even greater develop- 
ment than any as yet attained by the Rio Grande Pueblos. 

Necessity was not always the inciting motive ; frequently religious 
frenzy was responsible for orgies of which only vague accounts and still 
vaguer explanations have come down to us. 

The religious examples will be adduced at a later moment, as will 
those in which human or animal excreta have been employed in ordeals 
and punishments, terrestrial and supernal. 

So long as the lines of investigation are included within civilized 
limits, the instances noticed very properly fall under the classification of 
mania and of abnormal appetite ; and the latter, in turn, may be sub- 
divided into the two classes of the innate and the acquired, the second 
of which has presented a constant decrease since physicians have re- 
jected such disgusting remedial agents from the Materia Medica. 


That both human ordure and urine have been, and that they may 
still to a limited extent be, added by the rustic population of portions 
of Europe to the contents of love philters is a fact established beyond 
peradventure ; and that the followers of the Grand Lama of Thibet 
stand accused, on what has the semblance of excellent authority, of ob- 
taining from their priests the egestae of that potent hierarch and adopt- 
ing them as condiments, food, charms, amulets, and talismans, as well 
as internal medicines, will be fully stated in the cha2)ters devoted 
to that purpose. 

Schurig gives numerous examples of the eating of human and animal 
excrement by epileptics, by maniacs, by chlorotic young women, or by 
women in pregnancy, by children who had defiled their beds and 
dreading detection swallowed the evidences of their guilt, and finally 
by men and women with abnormal appetites. — (See Schurig, " Chylo- 
logia," Dresden, 1725, pp. 45, 81, 84, 780-782.) 

Burton relates the story of a young German girl, Catherine Gualter, 
in 1571, as told by Cornelius Gemma, who vomited, "among other 
things, pigeons' dung and goose-dung." She was apparently a victim 
of hysteria, and in her paroxysms had previously swallowed all manner 
of objectionable matter. — (See " Anatomy of Melancholy," edition of 
London, 1806, vol. i. p. 76.) 

" On a vu, surtout dans les hopitaux, des femmes se faire un jeu 
d'avaler clandestinement leurs urines h. mesure qu'elles les rendaient, et 
essayer faire croire qu'elles n'en rendaient point du tout." — (Personal 
letter to Captain Bourke from Mr. Frank Rede Fowke, dated Depart- 
ment of Science and Art, South Kensington Museum, London, S. W., 
June 18, 1888.) 




T^HE subject (jf excrement-eating among insane persons has engaged 
-*- the attention of medical experts. H. B. Obersteiner, in a communi- 
cation to the " Psychiatrisches Centralblatt," Wien, 1871, vol. iii. p. 95, 
informs that periodical that Dr. A. Erlenmeyer, Jr., induced by a lec- 
ture delivered by Professor Lang in 1872, had prepared a tabulated 
series of data embodying the results of his observations upon the ex- 
istence of cophrophagy among insane persons. He found that one in 
a hundred of persons suffering from mental diseases indulged in this 
abnormal appetite ; the majority of these were men. No particular 
relation could be established between excrement-eating and Onanism ; 
and no deleterious effect upon the alimentary organs was detected. 

*' In pathological reversion of type, due to cerebral disease, there are 
certain stages in some forms of mental disease in which some of the 
actions to which you refer are not uncommon." — (Personal letter to 
Captain Bourke from Surgeon John S. Billings, U. S. Army, in charge 
of the Army Medical Museum, dated Washington, D. C, April 23, 

" A boy of four years old had fouled in bed ; but being much afraid 
of whipping, he ate his own dung, yet he could not blot the sign out 
of the sheets ; wherefore, being asked by threatenings, he at length 
tells the chance. But being asked of its savor, he said it was of a 
stinking and somewhat sweet one. ... A noble little virgin, being very 
desirous of her salvation, eats her own dung, and was weak and sick. 
She was asked of what savor it was, and she answered it was of a 
stinking and a waterishly sweet one." These examples Yon Helmont 
says were personally known to him, as was that of the painter of 
Brussels who, going mad, subsisted for twenty-three days on his own 
excrements. — (See Yon Helmont's " Oritrika " (English translation), 
London, 1662, pp. 211, 212. Yon Helmont's work is a folio of 1161 


A French lady was in the habit of carrying about her pulverized 
human excrements, which she ate, and would afterwards lick her fingers. 
(Christian Franz Paullini, " Dreck Apothek," Frankfort, 1G96, p. 9.) 
Paullini also gives the instance of the painter of Brussels already cited 
on preceding page. 

" Bouillon Lagrange, pharmacien a Paris, que ses confreres appellaient 
Bouillon a Pointu, a public uu ouvrage, intitule la Chimie du Gout, 
sur la fabrication des liqueurs de table, et il donne la recette d'une 
])reparation qu'il appelle Eau de Mille Fleurs qui se compose de bouse 
de vache, infusee dans I'eau de vie." — (" Bibliotheca Scatalogica," 
pp. 93-96.) 

" As to the excrements of the cow, they are still used to form the 
so-called ' eau de mille fleurs,' recommended by several pharmaco- 
poeias as a remedy for cachexy." — ("Zoological Mythology," Angelo 
de Gubernatis, London, 1874, vol. i. p. 275-277.) 

" Scatophagi. Ces gourmets d'un genre particulier, ces ruminants de 
nouvelle espece, ces epicuriens biases ou raffines, s'appellaient scato- 
phages, ou scybalophages. (De scybales, scybala, a-Kv/SaXa. Voyez 
dans Dioscoride, lib. 5, c. 77, et Gorreus, Def. med. p. 579, les diverses 
acceptious de ce mot.) L'empereur Commode ^tait de ceux-la ; * Dicitur 
saepe praetiosissimis cibis humana stercora miscuisse, nee abstinuisse 
gustu,' dit Lampride (Vie de l'empereur Commode, p. 160). Ried- 
linus (Linear. Medic, an. 1697, mens. nov. obs. 23, p. 800) rapporte le 
cas d'une femme qui affirmait 'nullum cibum in tota vita sua palato 
magis satisfecisse.* Sauvage (Nosologic methodique) dit qu'nne fiUe 
lui a avou^ qu'elle avait mange jadis avec un plaisir infini la croute qui 
s'attache aux murailles des latrines. Zacutus Lusitanus a connu une 
demoiselle qui, ayant par hasard goute ses excrements, en fit dans la 
suite sa nourriture fiivorite, au point qu'elle ne pouvait en passer sans 
etre malade. 

"J. J. Wypffer, Dec. IIII an. 2, obs. 135, schol., p. 199, rapporte un 
fait du meme genre. De meme : Ehrenfrcid ; Pagendoraius (Obs. et 
hist. phys. med. cent. 3, hist. 95) ; Daniel Ereraita (Descript. Helvet. 
open p. 402) ; P. Tollius (Epist. itinerar. 62, p. 247) ; Tob. Pfanner 
(Diatrib. de Charismati, seu miracul. et antiq. eccles., c. 2) ; [Citations 
are also made from Yon Helmont, Frommann, Posinus Lentilius, and 
Paullini, which have been quoted elsewhere direct from those authors.] 
P. Borellus (Obs. phys. med. cent. 4, obs. 2) ; J. Johnstonus 
(Thaumagograph, admirand. homin. c. 2, art. 2) ; George Hanneous 
(Dec. IL, an. 8, obs. 115); P. Romelius (Dec. III., an 7 and 8, obs. 


40) ; Mich. Bern. Valentin. (Novell, med. log. as. II.). Nous croyona 
nous rappeler qu'il existe des exeniples du lucme genre dans I'ouvrage 
de J. B. Cardan, intitule : ' De Abstinentis ab usu ciborum fetido- 
rum,' libellus imprimc k la suite du traite * Do Utilitate ex adversis 
capienda ' de son pere. On a connu k Paris un riche bourgeois, nommc 
Paperal, qui, par une Strange depravation de goilt, avalait des excre- 
ments de petits enfants. (Yirey, Nouv. Diet, d'hist. nat. Deterville, 
torn. X.) La traduction memo rapporte qu'ils les mangeait avec une 
cuiller d'or. Ce n'est pas le seul exemple d'un gotit aussi bizarre. 
Bouillon portait toujours une boite d'or remplie non de tabac, mais 
des excrements huniains. (Voy. Dulaure, Hist, de Paris, edit, de 1825, 
t. VII. p. 262.)"— (Bibliotheca Scatalogica, pages 93 to 96.) 

" La fiente de becasse, dont les fines gourmets, veritablement scato- 
pbages, sont, corame on sait, tres friands." — (Bibliotheca Scatalogica, 
p. 133.) 

In this curious book, full of learning and research, there are cita- 
tions from more than three hundred authorities, some of tiiem, of 
course, merely obscene and not coming within tlie purview of these 
notes, but others, as may be readily understood from reading the ex- 
tracts taken from them, of the highest value in a scientific sense. 
Schurig gives an instance of voracity in which a certain glutton, after 
consuming all other food in sight, was wont to satisfy himself with 
urine and excrement : " Et si panes deerant, sua ipse excrementa 
comedebat et lotium bibebat." (Schurig, " Cbylologia," Dresden, 
1725, p. 52.) A case is given of a patient who having once expe- 
rienced the beneficial effects of mouse-dung in some complaint, be- 
came a confirmed mouse-dung eater, and was in the habit of picking it 
i;p from the floor of his house before the servants could sweep it away. 
— (See Schurig, " Chylologia," Dresden, 1725, p. 823 et seq.) 

The enceinte wife of a farmer in the town of Hassfort, on the Main, 
ate the excrements of her husband, warm and smoking. — (See Chris- 
tian Franz Paullini, "Dreck Apothek," edition of Frankfort, 1696, 
page 8. See also quotation from " Ephemeridum Physico- Medico- 
rum," Leipsig. 1694, on page 212 of this volume.) 

" Chacun en fait, en voit, en sent, en touche, en parle, souvent en 
ecrit, quelquefois en lit, et si chacun n'en mange pas, c'est que nous 
ne sommes pas encore au temps oh les becasses tomberont toutes 
roties; mais de celui-la en voudrait manger." — (Bibliotheca Scata- 
logica, p. 21, "Oratio pro Guano Humano.") 

An extract is here given from a letter sent to Charlotte Elizabeth of 


Bavaria, Princess-Palatine, daughter of Charles Louis, Elector-Palatine 
of the Rhine, born at Heidelberg, in 1652; she married the brother 
of Louis XIV., the widower of Henrietta Maria of England. 

The letter in question was sent her by her aunt, the wife of the 
Elector of Hanover, and may serve to give an idea of the boldness of 
the opinions entertained by the ladies of high rank in that era, and the 
coarseness with which they expressed them : — 

" Hanovre, 31 Octobre, 1694. 

" Si la viande fait la merde, il est vrai de dire que la merde fait la 
viande. . . . Est-ce que dans les tables les plus delicates, la merde 
n'y est pas servie en ragoHtsI . . . Les boudins, les andouilles, les 
saucisses, ne sont-ce pas de ragoiits dans des sacs k merde 1 " 

The letters here spoken of are to be found almost complete in the 
Bibliotheca Scatalogica, pages 17-21. 

The following appeared in an article headed "The Last Cholera 
Epidemic in Paris," in the "General Homoeopathic Journal," vol. 
cxiii., page 15, 1886: "The neighbors of an establishment famous 
for its excellent bread, pastry, and similar products of luxury, com- 
plained again and again of the disgusting smells which prevailed 
therein and which penetrated into their dwellings. The appearance 
of cholera finally lent force to these complaints, and the sanitaiy in- 
spectors who were sent to investigate the matter found that there was 
a connection between the water-closets of these dwellings and the reser- 
voir containing the water used in the preparation of the bread. This 
connection was cut oft' at once, but the immediate result thereof was 
a perceptible deterioration of the quality of the bread. Chemists have 
evidently no difficulty in demonstrating that water impregnated with 
* extract of water-closet,' has the peculiar property of causing dough 
to rise particularly fine, thereby imparting to bread the nice appear- 
ance and pleasant flavor which is the principal quality of luxurious 
bread." — (Personal letter from Dr. Gustav Jaeger, Stuttgart, Ger- 
many. See page 39.) 




nPHE very earliest accoimts of the Indians of Florida and Texas re- 
-■- fer to the use of such aliment. Cabeza de Vaca, one of the sur- 
vivors of the ill-fated expedition of Panfilo de Narvaez, was a prisoner 
among various tribes for many years, and finally, accompanied by 
three comrades as wretched as himself, succeeded in traversing the 
continent, coming out at Culiacan, on the Pacific Coast, in 1536. His 
narrative says that the " Floridians," "for food, dug roots, and that 
they ate spiders, ants' eggs, worms, lizards, salamanders, snakes, earth, 
wood, the dung of deer, and many other things." * The same account, 
given in Purchas's "Pilgrims" (vol. iv. lib. 8, cap. 1, sec. 2, p. 1512) 
expresses it that " they also eat earth, wood, and whatever they can 
get ; the dung of wild beasts." These remarks may be understood as 
applying to all tribes seen by this early explorer east of the Rocky 

Gomara identifies this loathsome diet with a particular tribe, the 
" Yaguaces " of Florida. " They eat spiders, ants, worms, lizards of two 
kinds, snakes, earth, wood, and ordui'e of all kinds of wild animals."' 

The California Indians were still viler. The German Jesuit, Father 
Jacob Baegert, speaking of the Lower Californians (among whom he 
resided continuously from 1748 to 1765), says : — 

"They eat the seeds of the pitahaya (giant cactus) which have 
passed off undigested from their own stomachs ; they gather their own 

1 " lis mangent des araignees, des oeufs de fourmis, des vers, des lezards, des 
salamandres, des couleuvres, de la terre, du bois, de la fiente de cerfs, et bien 
d'autres choses." — (Alvar Nuftez Cabeza de Vaca, in "Ternaux," vol. vii. p. 144.) 

* " Comen araiias, hormigas, gusanos, salamanqiiesas, lagartijas, culebras, palos, 
tierra, y cagajones y cagarnitas." — (Gomara, " Historia de las Indias," p. 182.) 
He derives his information from the narrative of Vaca. The word "cagajon" 
means horse-dung, the dung of mules and asses ; "cagarruta," the dung of sheep, 
goats, and mice. 



excrement, separate the seeds from it, roast, grind, and eat them, 
making merry over the loathsome meal." And again : " In the mis- 
sion of Saint Ignatius, . . , there are persons who will attach a piece 
of meat to a string and swallow it and pull it out again a dozen times 
in succession, for the sake of protracting the enjoyment of its taste," — 
(Translation of Dr. Charles F. Rau, in Annual Report, Smithsonian 
Institution, 18G6, p. 3G3.) 

A similar use of meat tied to a string is understood to have once 
been practised by European sailors for the pui-pose of teasing green 
comrades suli'ering from the agonies of sea-sickness. 

(Fuegians.) " One of them immediately coughed up a piece of blub- 
ber which he had been eating and gave it to another, who swallowed it 
with much ceremony and with a peculiar guttural noise." — ("Voyage 
of the Adventure and Beagle," London, 1839, vol. i. p. 315.) 

The same information is to b6 found in Clavigero (" Historia de la 
Baja California," Mexico, 1852, p. 24), and in H. H. Bancroft's " Native 
Races of the Pacific Slope," vol. i. p. 5G1 ; both of whom derive from 
Father Baegert. Orozco y Berra also has the story ; but he adds that 
oftentimes numbers of the Californians would meet and pass the de- 
licious tid-bit from mouth to mouth.* 

Castaiieda alludes to the Californians as a race of naked savages, 
who at'e their own exci-ement.** 

The Indians of North America, according to Harmon, "boil the 
bufialo paunch with much of its dung adhering to it," — a filthy mode 
of cooking which in itself would mean little, since it can be par- 
alleled in almost all tribes. But in another paragraph the same 
author says : " Many consider a broth made by means of the dung of 
the cariboo and the hare to be a dainty dish" (Harmon's " Jourual," 
etc., Andover, 1820, p. 324).8 

1 " Algunas veces se juntan varies Indies y a la reclonda va corriendo el bocado 
de uno en otro." — (Orozco y Berra, " Geografia de las lenguas de Mejico," Mexico, 
1854, p. 359.) 

2 " Peuple de sauvages qui vont tons nus, et qui mangent leurs propres ordures." 
— (Casta&Rda, in Ternaux, vol. ix. p. 156.) 

Castaiieda de Nagera accompanied the expedition of Francisco Vasquez de Coro- 
nado, which entered Arizona, New Mexico, and the buffalo country in 1540-1542. 
Part of this expedition, under Don Garcia Lope de Cardena, went down the Colo- 
rado River, which separates California from Arizona ; while another detachment, 
under Melchior Diaz, struck the river closer to its mouth, and crossed into what is 
now California. 

' HaiTOon's notes are of special interest at this point because he is speaking of 
the Ta-cuUy or Carriers, wlio belong to the same Tinneh stock as the Apaches and 


The Abbe Domenech asserts the same of the bands near Lake 
Superior : " In boiling their wild rice to eat, they mix it with the ex- 
crement of rabbits, — a delicacy appreciated by the epicures among 
them" (Domenech, "Deserts," vol. ii. p. 311). 

Of the negroes of Guinea an old authority relates that they " ate 
filthy, stinking elephant's and buffalo's flesh, wherein there is a thou- 
sand maggots, and many times stinks like carrion. They eat raw 
dogge guts, and never seethe nor roast them " (De Bry, Ind. Orient, in 
Purchas's "Pilgrims," vol. ii. p. 905). And another says that the 
Mosagueys make themselves a " pottage with milk and fresh dung of 
kine, which, mixed together and heat at the fire, they drinke, saying it 
makes them strong" (Purchas, lib. 9, cap. 12, sec. 4, p. 1555). 

The Peruvians ate their meat and fish raw ; but nothing further is 
said by Gomara. " Comen crudo la came y el pescado " (Gomara, 
" Hist, de las Indias," p. 234.) 

The savages of Australia "make a sweet and luscious beverage by 
mixing taarp with water. Taarp is the excrement of a small green 
beetle, wherein the larvae thereof are deposited." — (" The Aborigines 
of Victoria and Riverina," P. Beveridge, Melbourne, 1889, p. 126; re- 
ceived through the kindness of the Royal Society of Sydney, New 
South Wales, T. B. Kyngdon, Secretary.) 

" One of them (Snakes), who had seized about nine feet of the en- 
trails, was chewing it at one end, while with his hand he was diligently 
clearing his way by discharging the contents of the other. It was in- 
deed impossible to see these wretches ravenously feeding on the filth of 
animals, and the blood streaming from their mouths, without deploring 
how nearly the condition of savages approaches that of the brute crea" 
tion." — (Lewis and Clark, quoted by Spencer, " Descriptive Sociology : 
' Snakes.' ") 

" Some authors have said that all the Hottentots devour the entrails 
of beasts, uncleansed of their filth and excrements, and that, whether 
sound or rotten, they consider them as the greatest delicacies in the 
world ; but this is not true. I have always found that when they 
had entrails to eat they turned and stripped them of their filth and 
washed them in clear water." — (" Peter Kolben's Voyage to the Cape of 
Good Hope," in Knox's "Voyages and Travels,'* London, 1777, vol. ii. 
p. 385.) 

Navajoes of Arizona and New Mexico, Lipans of Texas, Umpquas of Washington 
Territory, Hoopahs of California, and SIocuss of the head-waters of the Columbia 


Atkinson declined to dine with a party of Kirghis who had killed a 
sheep, " having seen the entrails put into the pan after undergoing but 
a very slight purification." — ("Siberia," T. W. Atkinson, New York, 
18G5, p. 219, and again p. 433.) 

" The entrails of animals and other refuse matter thrown overboard 
from the English ships is eagerly collected and eaten by the Cochi- 
Chiuese, whom Mr. White even accuses of having a predilection for 
tilth."— ("Encyc. of Geography," Philadelphia, 1845, vol. ii. p. 397, 
article " Farther India.") 

(Arabs of the Red Sea.) "The water of Dobelew and Irwee tasted 
strongly of musk, from the dung of the goats and antelopes, and the 
smell before you drink it is more nauseous than the taste." — ("Trav- 
els to discover the Source of the Nile," James Bruce, Dublin, 1790, 
vol. i. p. 367.) 

From thus enduring water polluted with the excrements of animals 
to drinking beverages to which urine has been purposely added, as Sir 
Samuel Baker and Colonel Chaille Long show to have been the custom 
of the negroes near Goudokoro with their milk, is but a very small 

Chaille Long relates that in Central Africa he and his men were 
obliged to drink water which was a mixture of the excrements of the 
rhinoceros and the elephant (see " Central Africa," New York, 1877, 
p. 86). Livingston tells us that the Africans living along the banks of 
the Zambesi are careful not to drink except from springs or wells which 
they dig in the sand. " During nearly nine months in the year oi-dure 
is deposited aroimd countless villages along the thousands of miles 
drained by the Zambesi. When the heavy rains come down and sweep 
the vast fetid accumulation into the torrents the water is polluted with 
filth" (" Zambesi,"London, 1865, p. 181). 

Rev. J. Owen Dorsey reports that he has seen, while among the 
Ponkas, " a woman and a child devour the entrails of a beef, with the 
contents " (personal letter to Captain Bourke). 

Reclus says that the Eastern Inuit eat excrement. " lis ne r^culent 
pas devant les intestins de Tours, pas mSme devant ses excrements, et 
se jettent avec avidite sur la nourriture mal digeree qu'ils retirent du 
ventre des rennes" ("Les Primitifs," Paris, 1885, pp. 31, 32). "Les 
Ygarrotes des Philippines, qui versent comme sauce a leur viande crue 
le jus des fientes d'un baffle fraichement abattu " (idem, p. 31). 

The tribes of Angola, West Africa, cook the entrails of deer without 
removing the contents ; tliis is for the purpose of getting a flavor, as 


the excrement itself is not eaten (** Muhougo," interpretation by Rev. 
Mr. Chatelain). 

The Thibetan monk was not to eat entrails. " Ne pas manger des 
tripes " (" Pratimoksha Sutra," W. "W. Rockhill, Soc. Asiatique, Paris, 

(Tunguses of Siberia.) "They eat up every part of the animal 
which they kill, not throwing away even the impurities of the bowels, 
with which they make a sort of black pudding by a mixture of blood 
aud fat." — (Gavrila Sarytschew, in Phillips's "Voyages," London, 
1807, vol. V.) 

Natives of Eastern Siberia " ate with avidity the entrails of the seal 
■without cleaning in the least the partly digested food from the intes- 
tines, the ordure of the seal being as offensive to civilized man as 
the faeces of men or dogs." — (Personal letter from Chief Engineer 
Melville, U. S. Navy, to Captain Bourke.) 

The Aleuts and Indians from the extreme northern coast of America 
with Melville's party displayed the same appetite for the half-digested 
contents of the paunches of the seals killed by them. This appetite 
was not due to lack of food, as Melville takes care to explain. At 
another time he detected his " natives " in the act of eating " plenti- 
fully, though covertly, of the droppings of the reindeer " (idem). 





'T^HE addition of urine to human food is mentioned by various 
-■- writers. Speaking of the Chinooks, Paul Kane describes a deli- 
cacy manufactured by some of the Indians among whom he trav- 
elled, and called by him " Chinook Olives." They were nothing more 
nor less than acorns soaked for five months in human urine (see Kane, 
"Artist's Wanderings in North America," London, 1859, p. 187). 
Spencer copies Kane's story in his " Descriptive Sociology," article 

*' In Queensland, near Darlington, there is a tract of country covered 
with a peculiar species of pine, yielding an edible nut of which the 
natives are extremely fond. . . . The men would form large clay pans 
in the soil, into which they would urinate ; they would then collect 
an abundance of these seeds and steep them in the urine. A fermenta- 
tion took place, and all the seeds were devoured greedily, the effect 
being to cause a temporary madness among the men, — in fact a per- 
fect delirium tremens. On these occasions it was dangerous for any one 
to approach them. The liquid was not used in any way." — (Personal 
letter from John F. Mann, Esq., Neutral Bay, Sydney, New South 

This account not only recalls the story told by the artist Kane in 
the preceding paragraph, but establishes the fact that in Australia 
there is something with a marvellous resemblance to the Ur-Orgie of 
the people of Siberia. 

Chief Engineer George W. Melville, U. S. Navy, author of " In the 
Lena Delta," has had much experience with the natives of Northern 
Siberia, among whom it was his misfortune to be cast away. In a per- 
sonal letter to Captain Bourke be states that he observed several in- 
stances of Siberian women drinking their own or their neighbor's 
freshly voided urine. Once, in Sutke Harbor, Saint Lawrence Bay, 


near East Cape, when he " frowned at their unclean and unseemly act, 
they seemed very much amused, and after a moment's talk, one of 
them voided her urine and another drank it, both being very much 
diverted by my disgust." He further relates that when his "natives " 
could not obtain from his limited supplies all the alcohol they wanted, 
they made a mixture of alcohol and their own uriue in equal parts and 
drank it down. 

" On the morning of the 8th of May, while struggling with an at- 
tack of fever, I received a visit from Gilmoro, who brought me a gourd 
of milk as an expression of gratitude for saving him at an opportune 
moment his position. Burning with fever, I drained at one draught a 
goblet full of the foaming liquid ere the sense of taste could detect the 
nauseous mixture ; my stomach, however, quickly rebelled, and rejected 
in violent retching the unsavory potion, seven eighths of which were 
simply the urine of the cow ! — a practice, by the by, common to all 
Central Africans, who never drink milk unless thus mixed." 

" This fetish and superstition thereby insures protection for the cow 
here, as on the Bahr-el Abiad, mysteriously connected with the un- 
known, — a shadow possibly of the old Egyptian worship." — (" Central 
Africa," Chaille Long, New York, 1877, p. 70.) 


A comparatively late writer says of the Moquis of Arizona : " They 
are not as clean in their housekeeping as the Navajoes, and it is hinted 
that they sometimes mix their meal with chamber-lye for these festive 
occasions ; but I did not know that until I talked with Mormons who 
visited them" (J. H. Beadle, " Western Wilds," Cincinnati, Ohio, 1878, 
p. 279). 

Beadle lived and ate with the Moquis for a number of days. This 
story, coming from the Mormons, may refer to some imperfectly under- 
stood ceremonial. 

There is some ground for suspecting that urine may have been em- 
ployed by bakers in Europe prior to the introduction of the " barm " 
or ale yeast as a ferment. Ammonia is at the present time made use 
of by the Germans in this industry (see page 32). 

It is possible that the following account of the manner of eating 
blubber among the Patagonians may mean that urine was poured over 
it : " He put the same piece on the fire again, and after an addition to 
it too offensive to mention, again sucked it" (" Voyage of the Adven- 
ture and Beagle," London, 1839, vol. i. p. 343). 


As bearing upon the ingestion of human excreta, which would 
seem to excite a natural feeling of revulsion, the following statement 
may have some significance : Spencer Saint John, in his " Life in the 
J^ar East," London, 1842, after describing a head feast among the 
Dyaks, says that, after certain preliminary rites and amusements, 
" they commence eating and drinking ... an extraordinary accumu- 
lation, — fowls roasted with their feathers on, eggs black with age, 
decayed fruit, rice of all colors and kinds, strong-smelling fish almost 
approaching a state of rottenness, and their drink having the appear- 
ance and thickness of curds, in which they mix pepper and other ingredi- 
ents. It has a sickening effect upon them, and they swallow it more 
as a duty than because they relish it." 

Evidently uastiness is an object, since " before they have added any 
extraneous matter " this drink " is not unpleasant, having something 
the taste of spruce-beer " (p. 66). 

If the ceremony in question partakes of the nature of a sacrifice, — 
which is not at all certain from the text, in which it is described as an 
" entertaiument," but which appears probable from its being connected 
with the organization and representation of the tribe and from its rela- 
tion to head-huuting, — then it may be assumed that the spoiled food 
and nauseous drink are perfectly natural features, which have their 
counterparts in many places. 

As a rule, the more painful, costly, unnatural, and disgusting a rite 
is, the more essentially sacrificial is its character, — for obvious 

Von Stralenburg says of the Koraks that they use the same tubs as 
urinals and for the purpose of holding drinking water (see citation on 
page 152 of this volume). 


Speaking of the remnants of the Hindu sect of the Aghozis, an Eng- 
lish writer observes : — 

" In proof of their indifference to worldly objects they eat and drink 
whatever is given to them, even ordure and carrion. They smear their 
bodies also with excrement, and carry it about with them in a wooden 
cup, or skull, either to swallow it, if by so doing they can get a few pice, 
or to throw it upon the persons or into the houses of those who refuse 
to comply with their demands." — (" Religious Sects of the Hindus," 
in " Asiatic Researches," vol. xvii. p. 205, Calcutta, India, 1832.) 


Another writer confirms the above. The Abbe Dubois says that the 
Gurus, or Indian priests, sometimes, as a mark of favor, present to 
their disciples "the water in which they had washed their feet, which 
is preserved and sometimes drunk by those who receive it" (Dubois, 
" People of India,'' London, 1817, p. 64). This practice, he tells us, 
is general among the sectaries of Siva, and is not uncommon with many 
of the Vishnuites in regard to their vashtuma. " Neither is it the most 
disgusting of the practices that prevail in tliat sect of fanatics, as they 
are under the reproach of eating as a hallowed morsel the very ordure 
that proceeds from their Gurus, and swallowing the water with which 
they have rinsed their mouths or washed their faces, with many other 
practices equally revolting to nature " (idem, p. 71). 

Again, on page 331, Dubois alludes to the Gymnosophists "or 
naked Samyasis of India . . . eating human excrement, without show- 
ing the slightest symptom of disgust." 

As bearing not unremotely upon this point, the author wishes to say 
that in his personal notes and memoranda can be found references to 
one of the medicine-men of the Sioux who assured his admirers that 
everything about him was " medicine," even his excrement, which 
could be transmuted into copper cartridges. 

" I was informed that vast numbers of Shordrus drank the water in 
which a Brahmin has dipped his foot, and abstain from food in the 
morning till this ceremony be over. Some persons do this every 
day. . . . Persons may be seen carrying a small quantity of water in a 
cup and entreating the first Brahmin they see to put his toe in it. . . . 
Some persons keep water thus sanctified in their houses." — (Ward, 
quoted by Southey in his " Commonplace Book," London, 1849, 2d 
series, p. 521.) 




^f^HAT the same disgusting veneration was accorded the person of 
-*- the Grand Lama of Thibet, was once generally believed. Malte- 
brun asserts it in 'positive terms : " It is a certain fact that the refuse 
excreted from his body is collected with sacred solicitude, to be em- 
ployed as amulets and infallible antidotes to disease." 

And, quoting from Pallas, book 1, p. 212, he adds : "II est hors de 
doute que le coutenu de sa chaise percee est devotement recueilli ; les 
parties solides sont distributes comme des amulettes qu'on porte au 
cou ; le liquide est pris interieurement comme une medecine infailli- 
ble." — (Maltebrun, Universal Geography, article " Thibet," vol. ii. 
lib. 45, American edition, Philadelphia, 1832.) 

The Abbe Hue denies this assertion : " The Tale Lama is venerated 
by the Thibetans and the Mongols like a divinity. The influence he 
exercises over the Buddhist population is truly astonishing ; but still 
it is going too far to say that his excrements are carefully collected 
and made into amulets, which devotees inclose in pouches and carry 
around their necks." — (Hue, " Travels in Tartary, Thibet, and 
China," London, 1849, vol. ii. p. 198.) 


Hue was a keen and observing traveller ; he was well acquainted 
with the languages and customs of the Mongolians ; his tour into 
Thibet was replete with incident, and his narrative never flags in 
interest. Still, in Thibet he was only a traveller ; the upper classes 
of the Buddhist priesthood looked upon him with suspicion. The 
lower orders of priesthood and people did seem to consider him as a 
Lama from the far East, but he did not succeed in gaining the confi- 
dence of the Thibetans to the extent possessed by Dubois among the 
Brahniinical sects. The history of tlie latter author is a peculiar one : 
A French priest, driven from his native land by the excesses of the 


revolution, he took refuge in India, devoting himself for nearly twenty 
years to missionary labor among the people, with whom he became 8o 
thoroughly identified that when his notes appeared they were pub- 
lished at the expense of the British East India Company, and dis- 
tributed among its ofl&cials as a text-book. 

While it is possible to consult earlier authorities, the determination 
of this matter should not be allowed to remain in controversy. The 
first Europeans known to have penetrated to Thibet (or Barantola, as 
they called it) were the Jesuits Grueber and Dorville, who, returning 
from China to Europe, walked through Thibet, and down through 
India to the sea-coast. This was in 1661 3 another member of the 
same order. Father Andrade, claimed to have succeeded in the same 
perilous undertaking at an earlier date (1621), but the names of the 
cities he visited proves that he did not get beyond what is now known 
as Afghanistan, at the foot of the mountains bordering on Thibet. 
While Grueber and Dorville wei-e making their journey, or not many 
years after. Father Gerbillon, also a Jesuit, had taken up his abode 
among the nomadic Tartars, acquiring an influence with them of 
which the Emperor of China was glad to avail himself in emergencies. 
Xone of these travellers claimed to have seen the Grand Lama in 

" Grueber assures us that the grandees of the kingdom are very 
anxious to procure the excrements of this divinity (i. e., the Grand 
Lama), which they usually wear about their necks as relics. In an- 
other place he says that the Lamas make a great advantage by the 
large presents they receive for helping the grandees to some of his 
excrements, or urine ; for, by wearing the first about their necks, and 
mixing the latter with their victuals, they imagine themselves to be 
secure against all bodily infirmities. In confirmation of this, Ger- 
billon informs us that the Mongols wear his excrements, pulverized, in 
little bags about their necks, as precious relics, capable of preserving 
them from all misfortunes, and cui'ing them of all sorts of distempers. 
When this Jesuit was on his second journey into Western Tartary, a 
deputy from one of the principal lamas offered the emperor's uncle a 
certain powder, contained in a little packet of very white paper, neatly 
wrapped up in a scarf of very white taffety ; but that priuce told him 
that as it was not the custom of the Manchews to make use of such 
things, he durst not receive it. The author took this powder to be 
either some of the Great Lama's excrements, or the ashes of some- 
thing that had been used by him." — ("A Description of Thibet," 


in Piukerton's "Voyages and Travels," London, 181-1, vol. vii. p. 

"Grueber, in his late account of his return from China, a. d. 1661, 
by way of Lassa, or Barantola, as Kircher calls it (see Kircher, China 
lUustrata, part ii. c. 1), but Grueber himself Barantaka (where, he 
saith, no Christian hath never been). . . above all, he wondered at 
their pope (the Grand Lama of Thibet), to whom they give divine 
honors, and worship his very excrements, and put them up in golden 
boxes, as a most excellent remedy against all mischiefs." — (Stilling- 
Heet, " Defence of Discourse concerning Idolatry in Church of Rome," 
London, 1676, pp. 116-120, quuted by H. T. Buckle, in his "Com- 
monplace Book," p. 79, vol. ii. of his Works, London, 1872). 

Turner, " Embassy to Thibet," London, 1806, makes no reference to 
the use of the excrements of the Grand Lama. 

Friar Odoric, of Pordenone, visited L'hassa, Thibet, between a. d. 
1316 and 1330 (see Markham's edition of Bogle's " Thibet," London, 
1879, p. 46). Markham believes that the Jesuit Antonio Andrada, 
"in 1624," whom he styles " an undaunted missionary," "found his 
way over the lofty passes to Rudok," " climbed the terrific passes 
to the source of the Ganges, and eventually, after fearful sufferings, 
reached the shores of the sacred lake of Mansorewar, the source of 
the Sutlej." — (Introduction to Bogle's " Thibet," London, 1879). 

Wan-en Hastings speaks of the Thibetan priests of high degree, 
the " Ku-tchuck-tus," who, he says, "admit a superiority in the Dalai 
I^ama, so that his excrements are sold as charms, at great price, among 
all the Tartar tribes of this religion." — (" Memorandum on Thibet," 
accompanying the instructions to Mr. Bogle, the first English em- 
bassador to that country. See in Markham's " Thibet," London, 
1879, p. 11.) 

It is truly remarkable that neither in the report nor letters of 
Bogle, nor in the notes of Manning, nor in the fragments of Grueber, 
Desideri, nor Horace Delia Penna, preserved in Markham's " Thibet," 
can any allusion be found to the use of the excrements of the Grand 
Lama in religion or medicine. 

*' Les grands du royaume " (i. e., of Barantola), " recherchent fort 
les excrements de cette divinitc" (i. e., Lamacongiu). "lis les por- 
tent ordinairement a leur col comme des reliques." — (" Voyage de P. 
Grueber k Chine,'' taken from Conversations with P. Grueber. See, 
in Thevenot, vol. ii., *'Pielations de Divers Voyages curieux," Mel- 
chisidec Thevenot, Paris, 1696, vol. ii.). 


Several authorities from whom much was expected are absolutely 

No mention is to be found in Rubruquis of any use of human ordure 
or urine among the Tartars among whom he travelled ; all that he says 
is that they baked their bread on cow-dung. This monk, a Franciscan, 
was sent by King Louis IX. (Saint Louis), of France, on a mission to 
the Grand Khan of Tartary in 1253, in the execution of which office 
he travelled for thousands of miles through their territory. In Pin- 
kerton it is said : *' The travels of Rubruquis are equally astonishing 
in whatever light they are considered. Take them with respect to 
length, and they extend upwards of five thousand miles one way and 
nearly six thousand another.'' — (Vol. vii. p. 9G.) 

' During such a long journey he should have been able to notice 
much, but we are to bear in mind that the manners of the Tartars of 
the Grand Khan were at that time somewhat modified by contact with 
European civilization, having among them many prisoners, as Rubru- 
quis points out, who officiated as artificers, while, on the other hand, 
we know that the monk was thoroughly ignorant of all their dialects. 
Marco Polo, who lived among the Tartars about the same time, says : 
"But now the Tartars are mixed and confounded, and so are their 
fashions." — (Marco Polo, "Travels," in Pinkerton's "Voyages," Lou- 
don, 1814, vol. vii. p. 124.) 

Du Halde, although he gives an account of Thibet in his fourth vol- 
ume, and seems to be familiar with all the works on that country, 
mentioning Fathers Grueber and Dorville, yet makes no allusion to 
the use of the excrements of the Grand Lama as amulets or internally. 
(See Du Halde's " History of China," London, 1736.) The fault may 
lie with his translator in his zeal to "expurgate." 

Du Halde, a Jesuit missionary, had the assistance of all the mem- 
bers of his order on duty in China ; no less than a score or more aided 
him; one of the number. Father Constancin, had a tour of service in 
the Flowery Kingdom, as a missionary, of over thirty-two consecutive 
years. During the generation preceding the appearance of Du Halde's 
work, the Jesuits had traversed China, Tartary, and Thibet. Taver- 
nier, whose oppoi-tunities for observation were excellent, asserted the 
fact without ambiguity. The excrement of the Grand Lama was care- 
fully collected, dried, and in various ways used as a condiment, as a 
snuff, and as a medicine. 

" The Butan merchants assured Tavemier that they strew his ordure, 
powdered, over their victuals." — (Tavemier, "Travels," vol. ii. p. 185. 


Footnote to page 559, vol. vii. Pinkerton's "Voyages and Travels," 
London, 1814.) 

*' Undo tantis venerationis indiciis ab omnibus colitur, ut beatum 
ille se repntet, cui Lamarum (quod summis et pretiosis muneribus eum 
in finem, non sine magno eorum lucro corrunipere solent) benignitate 
aliquid ex naturalis secessus sordibus aut uriua Magnre Lama) obtige- 
rit. Ex ejusmodi enim collo portatis, urina quoque cibis commixta." — 
(Letter of Father Adam Schall, S. J., "Auloe Sino-Tartaricae Snpremi 
Concilii Mandarin us," in Thevenot, vol. ii. ; Thevenot's second volume 
contains three short letters in Latin from Grueber to members of his 
order, but in none is there any mention made of the ordure of the 
Grand Lama.) 

" There is no king in the world more feared and respected by his 
subjects than the king of Butan ; being in a manner adored by them. 
. . . The merchants assured Tavernier that those about the king pre- 
serve his ordure, dry it, and reduce it to powder like snufF; that then 
putting it into boxes, they go every market-day and present it to the 
chief traders and farmers, who, recompensing them for their great 
kindness, carry it home as a great rarity, and when they feast their 
friends, strew it upon their meat. The author adds that two of them 
showed him their boxes with the powder in them." — (" A Description 
of Thibet," in Pinkerton, London, 1814, vol. vii. 5G7.) 

The expression "king of Butan," as used by Tavernier, means the 
Grand I^ama of Thibet. Tavernier's statement has been accepted by 
the most careful writers. "Indorum nonnullos, incolas scilicet regni 
Boutan Homerda seu excrementis alvinis Regis sui siccatis et pulver- 
isatis cibos amicis et convivis suis appositos condire, refert Johannes 
Baptista Tavernier, Itinerar, Indie, lib. 3, cap. 15, fol. m. (Schurig, 
** Chylologia," Dresden, 1725, p. 775.) The same paragraph quoted 
in the Bibliotheca Scatalogica, pages 29, 93, and 96, to which the 
anonymous author adds, " et les Tartares et les Japoiiais tenaient en 
pareille veneration la merde du grand lama et du Dairi." 

Rosinus Lentilius, in the Ephemeridum PhA'sico-Medicorum, Leipsig, 
1694, speaks of the Grand Lama of Thibet as held in such high venera- 
tion by the devotees of his faith that his excrements, carefully col- 
lected, dried, powdered, and sold at high prices by the priests, were 
used as a sternutatory powder, to induce sneezing, and as a condiment 
for their food, and as a remedy for all the graver forms of disease. He 
quotes all this from Tavernier, and from Erasmus Franciscus, p. 1662. 
There is also another citation from Tavernier, lib. 4, cap. 7. 


"Xec de rege in Bantam, et siimrao Tangathani Regiii Pontifice, 
niagno Lama, quos tanto in honore subditi habent ut merda eorum 
magno studio collectam, et in pulverem comminutam (quam Brach- 
mines acre multo simplicibus diveudunt) illi quidem scil, Bouta- 
raenses, loco pulvere nasalis utantur, eoque lautius, victuri cibos 
condiant hi vero scil. Tangat haui pro remedio longe presentissimo 
ad varies desperatissimosque morbos habeant, aliisque medicamentis 
admisceant, per seepe memoratum Taveruier, Itin. lib. 3, cap. 15, et 
Frauciscus, loc. cit. p. 1G62. 

References to " amulets " among the peoples of Tartary and Thibet 
are made by nearly all travellers ; but few seem to have considered it 
worth while to determine of what these amulets were composed. 

Fathers Grueber and Dorville say of the Kalmuck Tartar women, 
" each with a charm about their necks to preserve them from dangers." 
These may have been ordui'e amulets of the Grand Lama. 

In his condensation of the travels into Thibet of Fathers Grueber 
and Dorville, Piukerton omits what they had to say about these amu- 
lets, although in another place, already cited, he refers to it. 

(Burats of Siberia.) " I could observe no images among them except 
some relics given them by their priests which they had from the Delay- 
Lama; these are commonly hung up in a corner of their tents, and 
sometimes about their necks, by way of an amulet to preserve them 
from misfortunes." (Bell, "Travels in Asia," with the Russian Em- 
bassy to China, in 171 1, in Pinkerton, vol. vii. p. 347). L^ndoubt- 
edly, these were amulets of human ordure, etc., received from the 
Grand Lama. 

(Kalmucks of Siberia.) "Des pilules benites qui viennent du Tibet 
meritent attention ; on les appelle Schalir. Les pretres ne les donnent 
qu'aux Kalmouks riches ou de distinction; ils les portent toujours sur 
eux, et ils n'en font usage que dans les maladies graves ou la mort 
leur parait presqu'inevitable. lis pr^tendent que ces pilules servent a 
distraire I'ame des choses temporelles, et a la sanctifier : elles sont 
noires et de la grosseur d'un pois. Je presumai qu'elles renfermaient 
de I'opium ou autre narcotique ; mais on m'assure au contraire que 
leur vertu etait purgatif." — (Voyages de Pallas, Paris, 1793, vol. i. 
pp. 567, 568.) 

(Mongolia.) "When famous lamas die and their bodies are burnt, 
little white pills are reported as found among the ashes, and sold for 
large sums to the devout, as being the concentrated virtue of the man 
and possessing the power of insuring a happy future for him who 


swallows one near death. This is quite common. I heard of one man 
who improved on this by giving out that these little pills were in the 
habit of coming out through the skin of various parts of the body. 
These pills, called Sharil, met with a ready sale, and then the man 
himself reaped the reward of his virtue and did not allow all the profit 
to go to his heir." — ("Among the Mongols," Eev. James Gilmour, 
London, 1883, p. 231.) 

This writer says that these sacred pills are white ; another one, 
already noted, describes them as black, while those obtained by the 
author from Mr. W. W. Kockhill are red. 

Vambcry instances one of the holy men of the Turkomans who, 
after reciting a number of sacred verses, " used to place before him a 
cup of water into which he spat at the end of each poem, and this com- 
position . . . was sold to the best bidder as a wonder-working medi- 
cine." —(" Travels in Central Asia," New York, 1865, p. 272.) 

Such use of the excrement of ecclesiastical dignitaries was indicated 
in Oriental literature. In the "Arabian Nights" King Afrida says to 
the Emirs, among other things, "And I purpose this night to sacre 
you all with the Holy Incense." When the Emirs heard these words, 
they kissed the ground before him. Now the incense which he desig- 
nated was the excrement of the Chief Patriarch, the denier, the defiler 
of the truth, and they sought for it with such instance, and they so 
highly valued it, that the high-priests of the Greeks used to send it 
to all the countries of the Christians in silken wraps, after mixing it 
with musk and ambergris ; hearing of it, kings would pay a thousand 
gold pieces for every dram, and they sent for and sought it to fumi- 
gate brides withal ; and the Chief Priests and the Great Kings were 
wont to use a little of it as a Collyrium for the eyes, and as a remedy 
in sickness and colic ; and the Patriarchs used to mix their own skite 
(excrement) with it, for that the skite of the Chief Patriarch would 
not suffice for ten countries." — (Burton's edition, vol. ii. pp. 222, 
223). In Burton's Index this is called "Holy Merde." Burton also 
says, " The idea of the Holy Merde might have been suggested by the 
Hindus ; see Mandeville, of the archiprotopapaton (prelate) carrying 
ox-dung and cow-urine to the king, who therewith anoints his face 
and breast, etc. And, incredible to relate, this is still practised by the 
Parsis, one of the most progressive and sharpest-wittcd of the Asiatic 
races." — (Idem.) 

Rochefoucauld tells us that we ascribe to others the faults of which 
we ourselves would be guilty, had we the opportunity. The Arabians 


no doubt were fully acquainted with just such customs ; possibly, the 
Greeks also. 

The Kalmucks believe in spirits or genii called " Bourkans," and in 
a maleficent one known as " Erlik-khan." They tell a story of three 
of these " Bourkans," one of them being Sakya-Muni : " fitant un 
jour assis ensemble, firent leurs prieres dans la plus grande ferveur, 
ayant les yeux fermes, ainsi que cela se pratique chez les Kalmouks, 
le genie infernal s'approche d'eux, et fit ses ordures dans la coupe 
sacr^e que les pretres ont devant eux lorsqu'ils font la priere. Des 
que les dieux s'en ap^rcurent, ils tinrent conseil. lis conclurent que 
s'ils repandoient cette matiere v^nimeuse dans les airs, ils feroient 
perir tons les habitants de cet element ; et que s'ils la jetoient sur 
la teiTe, ils feroient mourir tons les €tres vivans qui I'occupent. lis 
resolurent done, pour le bien de I'humanit^, de I'avaler. Sakya-Muni 
eut pour sa part le fond de la coupe ; le levain etoit si fort que son 
visage devint tout bleu. C'est la raison pour laquelle on lui peint la 
figure en bleu dans les images ; ses idoles ont seulement le bonnet 
vernisse en bleu." — (Voyages de Pallas, Paris, 1793, vol. i. p. 548). 

This is a lame explanation, invented by the Lamas after men had 
become somewhat refined, and had begun to evince a repugnance to 
these diabolical usages. Compare with the notes presented by Mr. 
W. W. Rockhill, the Oriental scholar and Thibetan explorer, on p. 37. 

The following is from a manuscript by Mr. W. W. Eockhill, entitled 
"The Lamaist Ceremony called the Making of the Mani Pills :" — 

" Certain indestructible particles of the bodies of the Buddhas and 
saints, as well as certain other l:)odily remains, have ever been consid- 
ered by Buddhists to enjoy certain properties, such as that of emitting 
light, and of having great curative properties. The travels of Huein- 
Tsang and of Fa-lisien are filled with accounts of the discovery of 
such treasures, and of the supernatural properties which they pos- 
sessed. Among Thibetans, the first class of these relics is known 
as 'pedung' (upel-gedung), the second as *dung-rus* (gdung-rus). 
They say the pedung are minute globules found in the bones of 
Buddhas and saints, that they possess wonderful brilliancy, and that 
sometimes they may be seen on the exterior of some saintly person, 
when they have the appearance of brilliant drops of sweat. Whib 
these pedung have most potent curative properties, they become also 
the palladium of the locality fortunate enough to have them. By a 
natural extension of the idea of the power of pedung, Thibetans have 
come to think that if one preserves and carries about on one's person 



even a little of the excrptions, or of the hair or nail-trimmings of a 
saint who is known to have pedung, such, for instance, as the Tale- 
Lama, or the Panchan-Rimpoche, they will shield him from gun or 
sword wounds, sickness, etc. ; hence the extraordinary objects one so 
often finds in Thibetan charm-boxes (Ka-Wo). 

"The properties of pedung have also given rise to another belief, 
with which this paper is more properly concerned, — that of manufac- 
turing pills, to which the god Shourizog, at the supplication of the 
officiating lamas, imparts the properties of his own divine body, and 
then imparts to them the curative and protective properties of real 
pedung. These pills are known as niani-rilbu, or * precious pills,' 
and are in constant use as medicine among the people of Thibet and 
Mongolia. Large quantities of them are also sent by each tribute- 
bearing muiion to the Emperor of China. In Chinese, they are called 
' Tsu-mu-yas,' or * thih-ma-yao,' and must not be confounded with a 
liliaceous i)lant of same name (Hanbury's Anemarhena as^j^hodeloides), 
the rhizome of which is used in medicine, and which is also a product 
of Thibet. 

"Perhaps the better name for 'mani-rilbu' is ' tzu-sheng-wan,' 
' dilated pills,' which I have heard used for them in Pekin, as will be 
"better seen after reading the following account of the manner in 
which they are manufactured. 

" The greater part of the account here given of the process of 
making the pills is taken from a Thibetan work containing a minute 
account of the ceremony, together with the prayers to be recited, etc., 
the title of which is 'Ceremony of Making Mani Pills' (Mani Piilbu 
grub gi choga), in seven leaves. 

" Verbal explanations from the lamas who explained the text to me 
are incorporated wherever necessary. 

" Seven days prior to the commencement of the ceremony the lama 
who is to conduct it and the priests who are to take part in it com- 
mence to abstain from the use of meat, spirits, garlic, tobacco, and 
other articles of food held impure, or which are bad-smelling, and 
during the progress of the ceremony, which is twenty-one, forty-nine, 
or one hundred days in length, none of the above articles are allowed 
in the temple, nor are unclean persous or those who are partaking of 
the above prohibited substances. 

" The ceremony begins by making the pills, and the process is de- 
scribed, in the work mentioned above, as follows : " The Lama, his 
head clean-shaved, and his vestments being as they should be, grinds 


into fine flour some roasted grain, then mixing it with pure and sweet- 
scented water, he makes the necessary amount of paste ; the pills are 
then made and coated over with red. When all this has been done, a 
vase is taken which is dry and without any flaw or blemish, and which 
is also perfectly clean, and in it the pills are poured until it is two- 
thirds full. The vase is then wrapped in a silk cover, which is tied on 
with a silk thread, and sealed. The vase, after this, is put on a 
stand, in a perfectly upright position, and around the latter are 
arranged bowls of water and other offerings, two by two. The most 
revered image of Tug-je-chon-po (i. e., Shouresig) which the lamasery 
possesses is then clothed in its robes, and placed on top of the vase ; 
then, without shaking the vase, a dorje (a marginal note explains that 
this is the Thunder-bolt or Sadjra of Indra : it is in constant use in 
all the Lamaist ceremonies, and is generally held in the right hand, 
between the thumb and index, while prayers are being read. In the 
left hand the lama usually holds a bell), wrapped in a clean piece of 
cotton or woollen stuff", is tied to the string around the neck of the 
vase. After an interval of meditation and prayer, offerings are made of 
* water, flowers, incense, lamps, perfumes, food, etc., . . . while music 
plays.' Then the help of the god is invoked * to impart the necessary 
virtues to the pills, ... for this world is sunk in sin and iniquity, 
and Shouresig alone can help it, and drag it out of the mire.' As a 
means thereto he is now besought, in his great mercifulness, to bless 
these pills, so that they may free from the orb of transmigration those 
who shall have attained maturity of mind,' to impart to them by 
absorption the peculiar flavor of his resplendent person, so that they 
may become indistinguishable from it, like water poured into water, 
etc., etc. 

" This ceremony, which is a most expensive one, and most trying 
on the Lamas, is not at all common in the Lamaseries of China or 
Mongolia, and is confined to the larger one in Thibet ; the only one 
at Pekin, where it is sometimes performed, is the Shih-fang-tang, to 
the west of the Hsi-huang-tsu, outside of the north side of the city." 

The above ceremony describes a symbolical alvine dejection, and the 
most plausible explanation is, that the lamas, finding trade good and 
the Buddhist laity willing to accept more " amulets " than the Grand 
Lama was able, unaided, to supply, hit upon this truly miraculous 
mode of replenishing their stock. 

Mr. Rockhill explains that the word " pedung," used in the above 
description, means "remains." Taking into consideration the fact 


that these people, although remotely, are related to the Aryan stock, 
which is the aucestor of the English, German, Irish, Latin, and others, 
from which we spring, the meaning, as here given, is certainly not 
without significance. "Dung," in our own tongue, means nothing 
more nor less than remains, reliquiae of a certain kind. 

Webster traces the word " dung " to the Anglo-Saxon dung, dyncg, 
dincg, — excrement ; Dyngan, to dung ; N. H. German, dung, dunger j 
O. H. German, Tunga ; Sw. Dyuga ; Danish, Dynge and Dyngd ; Ice- 
landic, Dyngia and Dy. This shows it to be essentially Indo-Germanic 
in type, and fairly to be compared with the words " pedung " and 
"dung-rus" of Mr. Rockhill's manuscript. 

In the country of Ur of the Chaldees, which was the home of Abra- 
ham (Gen. xi. 2), there reigned a king, "the father of Dungi." The 
exact meaning of the name " Dungi " has not been made known. The 
name of the king himself, strangely enough, was " Urea," or " Uri," — 
it is read both ways. His date has been fixed at 3,000 years b. c. 

The information in preceding paragraph was furnished by Prof. Otis 
T. Mason, of the National Museum, Washington, D. C. 

Lenormant makes him out as of high antiquity, — "the most an- 
cient of the Babylonian kings," "kings who can vie in antiquity with 
the builders of the Egyptian pyramids, — Dungi, for instance." — 
("Chaldean Magic," p. 333.) 

Smith ascribes him to the date of at least 2,000 b. c. — (" Assyrian 
Discoveries," New York, 1876, p. 232.) 

Mr. W. W. Rockhill, for six years secretary of the Legation of the 
United States, in Pekin, is a member of the Oriental Society, and a 
scholar of the highest attainments, more particularly in all that re- 
lates ^to the languages, customs, and religions of China and Thibet, in 
which countries he has travelled extensively. 

The sacred pills presented by him to the author were enclosed in a 
silver reliquary, elaborately chased and ornamented ; in size they were 
about as large as quail-shot ; their color was almost orange, or between 
that and an ochreous red. 

Through the kindness of Surgeon-General John Moore, U. S. Army, 
they were analyzed by Dr. Mew, U. S. Army, with the following 
results : — 

"April 18, 1889. 

" I have at length found time to examine the Grand Lama's ordure, 
and write to say that I find nothing at all remarkable in it. He had 
been feeding on a farinaceous diet, for I found by the microscope a large 


amount of undigested starch in the field, the presence of which I veri- 
fied by the usual iodine test, which gave an abundant reaction. 

*' There was also present much cellulose, or what appeared to be cel- 
lulose, from which I infer that the flour used (which was that of wheat) 
was of a coarse quality, and probably not made in Minnesota. 

" A slight reaction for biliary matter seemed to show that there was 
no obstruction of the bile ducts. These tests about used up the four 
very small pills of the Lama's ordure. 

" Very respectfully and sincerely yours, 

(Signed) "W. M. Mew." 




'T^HAT Christian polemics have not been entirely free from such 
-*- ideas may be shown satisfactorily to any one having the leisure to 
examine the various phases of the discussion upon the doctrine of the 

Tiie word " stercoranistes," or " stercorarians," is not to be found 
in the last edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica ; but in the edition 
of 1841 the definition of the word is as follows: "Stercorarians, or 
Stercoranistes, formed from stercus, 'dung,' a name which those of the 
Eomish church originally gave to such as held that the host was liable 
to digestion and all its consequences, like other food." This definition 
was copied verbatim in Rees's Cyclopsedia of Arts, Sciences, and Litera- 
ture, Philadelphia. 

The dispute upon " Stercoranisme " began in 831, upon the appear- 
ance of a theological treatise by a monk named Paschasius Radbert. — 
(See the " Institutes of Ecclesiastical History," John Lawrence von 
Mosheim, translated by John Murdock, D.D., New Haven, 1832, vol. ii. 
p. 104 et seq.) 

" The grossly sensual conception of the presence of the Lord's body 
in the sacrament, according to which that body is eaten, digested, and 
evacuated like ordinary food, is of ancient standing, though not found 
in Origen, nor perhaps in Rhabanus Maurus. It certainly originated 
with a class of false teachers contemporary with or earlier than Rha- 
banus Maurus, whom Paschasius Radbert condemns, — 'Frivolum est 
ei'go in hoc mysterio cogitare in stercore ne commisceatur in digestione 
alterius cibi" (De Corp. et Sanguin. Domin. cap. 20). He does not, 
however, apply the term " Stercoranistes" to his opponents. Cardinal 
Humbert is the first to so employ the word. This use was in a polemic 
against Nicetas Pectoratus, written in support of Azymitism, etc. 
From this source the word was adopted into common usage. — (Schrockli 
Kirchengesch. XXIII. ? 429, 499 ; Herzog, Real Encyclop, s. v. ; Mc- 


Clintock and Strong, Cyclop, of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical 
Literature, New York, 1880; see also Schaff-Herzog, " Cyclopajdia of 
Religious Knowledge," New York, 1881, article " Stercoranistes.") 

(Stercoranistes.) (Hist. Eccles.) " Nom que quelques ecrivains ont 
donne a ceux qui peusoient que les symboles eucharistiques etoient 
sujets a la digestion et a toutes ses suites de meme que les autres nour- 
ritures corporelles. . . . Ce mot est derive du Latin, ' stercus,' excre- 
ment. On ne convient pas generalement de I'existence de cette erreur. 
Le president Manguin I'attribue a Amalaire, auteur du neuvieme siecle. 
. . . Et le cardinal Humbert dans sa reponse a Nicetas Pectoratus, 
I'appelle nettement stercoraniste, parceque celui-ci pretendoit que la 
perception de I'hostie rompoit le jeuue. Enfin, Alger attribuc la meme 
erreur aux Grecs. Mais ces accusations ne paroissent pas fondees, car ; 
. . . Amalaire propose a la verity la question si les especes eucharis- 
tiques se consuraeut comme les aliments ordinaires; mais, il ne la de- 
cide pas. Nicetas pretend aussi que I'Eucharistique rompt le jeune, 
soit qu'il reste dans les especes quelque vertu nutritive, soit parce 
qu'apres avoir recu TEucharistique, on pent prendre autres aliments ; 
mais, il ne paroit pas avoir admis la consequence que lui impute le 
Cardinal Humbert. II ne paroit pas non plus que les autres Grecs 
soient tombes dans cette erreur. S. Jean Damascene les en disculpe. 
Mais, soit que le Stercoranisme ait existe ou non, les protestans n'en 
peuvent tirer aucim avantage contre la presence I'eele, que cette erreur 
suppose plutot qu'elle ne I'ebranle." — (Voyez M. Wuitass, traite de 
I'Eucharistie, premiere partie, quest. 2, art. 1 ; p. 416 et suiv. Ency- 
clop. ou Diction. Raissou. des Sciences, des Arts, et des Metiers, tome 
quinzieme, Neufchatel, 1765, art. "Stercoranistes.") 

" Si qui fuerunt, fuere nonnulli nono saeculo, qui Corpus Christi 
quod in Eucharistia continetur secessui, ac defectioni obnoxiura esse 
putabat ita ut corruptis speciebus et ipsum Corpus Christi corrumpera- 
tur." — ("Diet, of Sects and Heresies," etc., T. H. Blunt, Oxford, 
1874, where a number of I'eferences are given.) 

" Stercorantistarum, nomen non sectoe, sed convitii fuit." — (Baro- 
nius, "Aunales," Lucca, 1758. 

Stercoranisme. Stercoranistes. Stercus. "Membre d'une secte 
qui soutenait que les especes de I'Eucharistie etaient digerees et trans- 
form^es en excrement comme les autres aliments" (Encyclop.). 

" On a designe dans le XIX. siecle sous le nom de Stercoranistes, les 
theologiens qui niaient que la substance du pain et du vin fut chaugee 
dans I'Eucharistie au corps et au sang de Jesus Christ." 


"Tout ce qui entre dans la bouche, descend la ventre et va au 

•• Pretendirent que si le corps et le sang de Jesus Christ, avaient 
pris la place de la substance du pain et du viu, ils devraient subir les 
memes accidents qui seraient arrives a cette substance si elle avait ete 
recue par le communiuut." — (P. Lerousse, " Grand Dictionnaire Uni- 
versel," Paris, 1875.) 

Brand, in his " Encyclopcedia of Science, Literature, and Art," article 
" Stercoranism," says : " A nickname which seems to have been ap- 
plied in the Western churches in the fifth and sixth centuries to those 
who held the opinion that a change took place in the consecrated ele- 
ments, so as to render the divine body subject to the act of diges- 
tion." He refers to Mosheim's *' Ecclesiastical History " for a fuller 

The same ideas obtained among the illiterate as a matter of course. 

The First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ seems to have been 
received by the Gnostics of the second century as canonical, and ac- 
cepted in the same sense by Eusebius, Athanasius, Chrysostora, and 
others of the Fathers and writers of the Church. Sozomen was told 
by tra.vellers in Egypt that they had heard in that country of the 
miracles performed by the water in which the infant Jesus had been 
washed. According to Ahmed ben Idris, this gospel was used in parts 
of the East in common with the other gospels ; while Ocobius de Cas- 
tro asserts that in many churches of Asia and Africa it was recited ex- 
clusively. (See Introduction to the " Apocryphal Kew Testament," 
William Hone, London, 1820.) But, on the other hand, all the apoc- 
rypha were condemned by Pop6 Gelasius in the fifth century ; and 
this interdict was not repealed until the time of Paul IV. in the six- 
teenth century. — (See Bunsen, " Analecta," Hamburg, 1703.) 

In the following extracts it will be noted that the miracles recorded 
were wrought either by the swaddling-clothes themselves or by the 
water in which they had been cleansed ; and the inference is 
that the excreta of Christ were believed, as in many other instances, 
to have the character of a panacea, as well as generally miraculous 

The Madonna gave one of the swaddling clothes of Christ to the 
Wise Men of the East who visited him ; they took it home, "and hav- 
ing, according to the custom of their country, made a fire, they wor- 
shipped it. . . . And casting the swaddling cloth into the fire, the fire 
took it and kept it " (1 Inf. iii. 6, 7). 


We read of the Finnish deity Wainemoinen that " the sweat which 
dropped from his body was a bahn for all diseases." The very same 
virtues were possessed by the sweat of the Egyptian god Ra (" Chal- 
dean Magic," Lenormant, p. 247, quoting the Kalewala, part 2, 
r. 14). 

On arrival in Egypt after the Flight — " When the Lady Saint Mary 
hud washed the swaddling clothes of the Lord Christ and hanged them 
out to dry upon a post ... a certain boy . . . possessed with the 
devil, took down one of them and put it upon his head. And pres- 
ently the devils began to come out of his mouth and fly away in the 
shape of crows and serpents. And from this time the boy was healed 
by the power of the Lord Christ." — (I Inf. iv. 15, 16, 17.) 

" On the return journey from Egypt, Christ had healed by a kiss a 
lady whom cursed Satan . . . had leaped upon ... in the form of a 
serpent. On the mon-ow, the same woman brought perfumed water 
to wash the Lord Jesus ; when she had washed him, she preserved the 
water. And there was a girl whose body was white with leprosy, who 
being sprinkled with this water was instantly cleansed from her lep- 
rosy."— (1 Inf. vi. 16, 17). 

There is another example of exactly the same kind in 1 Inf. vi. 34. 
See, again, 1 Inf. ix. 1, 4, 5, 9 ; x. 2, 3; xii. 4, 5, 6. "And in Matarea 
the Lord Jesus caused a well to spring forth, in which Saint Mary 
washed his coat. And a balsam is produced or grown in that country 
from the sweat which ran down there from the Lord Jesus." — (Gospel 
of the Infancy, viii. : " The Apocryphal !New Testament," William 
Hone, London, 1820, p. 47.) 

"In Ireland, weakly children are taken to drink the ablution, that 
is, the water and wine with which the chalice is rinsed after the priest 
has taken the communion, — the efficacy arising from the cup having 
just before contained the body of our Lord." (See "Folk-Medicine," 
Black, London, 1883, p. 88.) The same cure was also in vogue in Eng- 
land, and in each case for the whooping-cough. 

This has all the appearance of a commingling of two separate streams 
of thought ; compare with it the notes on the expression from Juve- 
nal, " Priapo ille bibit vitreo," page 428, as well as those in regard to 
the canons of Beauvais on page 429. 

" An ofifshoot of the Khlysti, known as the " Shakouni," or Jumpers, 
openly professed debauchery and libertinism to excess . . . Others of 
their rites are abject and disgusting ; their chief is the living Christ, 
and their communion consists in embracing his body, — ordinary dis- 


ciples may kiss his hand or his foot ; to those of a more fervent piety, 
he offers his tongue." — ("The Russian Church and Russian Dis- 
sent," Albert F. Heard, New York and London, 1887, pp. 261- 

The subjoined extract is from "Mclusine" (Gaidoz) Paris, May 6, 


" A I'occasion des reliques joumalieres du Dalai-Lama dont on fuit 
des pilules pour les devots, histoire que les iraprimeurs de cette Revue 
n'avaient pas voulu * avaler ' (voir plus haut, col. 24) Mr. Wh. Stokes 
nous a signale iin curieux passage des annales irlandaises. Nous croy- 
ons interessant de le traduire ici. Get 'acte de foi ' se passait en Tan 
605, et le heros en est le roi Aedh, surnomme Uairidhnach.^ 

" Un jour il passa, n'etant encore que prince royale, par le territoire 
d'Othain-Muira ; il lava ses mains a la riviere qui traversa le terri- 
toire de la ville. Othain est le nom de la riviere, et c'est de la que la 
ville a son nom. II prit de I'eau pour s'en laver la figure. Un de ses 
gens I'arreta. *Roi, dit-il, ne mets pas cette eau sur ton visage.' 
' Quoi done ] ' dit le roi. * J'ai honte de le dire,' dit-il. * Quelle honte 
as-tu k dire la veritel dit le roi. *Voici ce que c'est,' dit-il; 'c'est 
sur cette eau que se trouve le water-closet des clercs.* ' Est-ce ici, 
que vient le clerc lui-meme ' (c'est h, dire le chef des clercs) ' pour se 
soulager ? ' 

" ' C'est ici meme,' dit le page. ' Non seulement,' dit le roi, ' je mettrai 
cette eau sur ma figure, mais j'en mettrai datis ma bouche, et j'en 
boirai ' (et il en but trois gorgees) ; * car I'eau oil il se soulage vaut pour 
moi I'eucharistie.' 

" Cela fut racont^ a Muira (le chef des clercs), et il rendit graces k 
Dieu de ce que Aedh avait une semblable foi ; et il appela aupres de 
lui Aedh et il lui dit : ' Cher fils, en recompense de ce respect que tu 
as montr^ a I'Eglise, je te promets, en presence de Dieu, que tu ob- 
tiendras bientot la royaut^ d'Irlande, que tu auras victoire et tri- 
omphe sur tes ennemis, que tu ne mourras pas de mort subite,'^ que tu 
recevras le corps de Christ de ma main, et je prierai le Seigneur pour 
toi, pour que ce soit la vieillesse qui t'enleve de cette vie.' 

1 Lit. "de la maladie froide ;" voy. O'Donovan, "Annals of the Four Mastei's," 
note k I'annee 601, t. 1. p. 228. 

'■* La mort subite est regardee comine le plus grand malheur, parce qu'elle ne 
laisse pas le temps de se confesser et de recevoir 1' absolution de ses peclies. 


" Ce fut peu de temps apres cela qu 'Aedh obtint la royaut^ d'Irlaude 
et il donna des terres fertiles k Muira d'Othain.^ 

" Comme le lecteur ne manquera pas de le remarquer, c'est par edifi- 
cation que I'amialiste, clerc lui-meme, raconte cette histoire. En effet, 
elle fait houneur a la piete du roi et elle prouve que 'le respect montre a 
I'Eglise ... a obtenu sa recompense.' Ce qui vient des hommea de 
Dieu participe en effet au caractere sacre de Dicu qu'ils reprcsentent. 

"Si Ton cherchait a etendre cette enquete de scatologie hieratique on 
trouverait sans doute bien des crojances et des pratiques repugnantes 
a notre gout de civilises, mais raisonables en un sens quand on accepte 
le point de depart, quand on ne condamne pas la logique, et surtout 
quand on se rappelle que le dugout pour les rc'sidus de la digestion 
n'est devenu instinctif que pour la vie civilisee et les habitudes sociales. 
Les peuples qui ne se lavent pas doivent certaineraent seutir autrement 
que nous, et meme ne pas sentir du tout ; et nos ancetres de I'age des 
cavernes n'avaient certainement I'odorat plus difficile. On assure que 
chez les Namas, tribu hottentote, le shaman qui celebi-e un mariage 
asperge les conjoints de son urine. Cela remplace notre eau benite. 
Le shaman est en effet ' un homme de Dieu,* par excellence ; car, 
lorsqu'il se livre a ces dances desordonnees qui sont une partie du 
culte, on croit que le dieu descend en lui, non en esprit, mais en realite. 

" C'est aussi le cas de rappeler un usage linguistique des habitants de 
Samoa dans la Polynesie. Lorsq'une femme est sur le point d'accou- 
cher, on adresse des prieres au dieu ou genie de la famille du pere et 
a celui de la famille de la mere. Quand I'enfant est ne, la mere de- 
mande quel dieu on etait en train de prier a ce moment. On en prend 
soigneusement note et ce dieu sera en quelque sorte le " patron " de 
I'enfant pendant le reste de sa vie. 

" Par respect pour ce dieu, I'enfant est appele son excrement et pen- 
dant son enfance on I'appelle reellement, comme ' petit-nom,' ' m 

de Tongo,' ou de Satitv, ou de tout autre dieu, suivant le cas. La 
formule est grossiere, mais I'iutention, sous une apparence tout mate- 
rielle, part d'un sentiment de respect et de piete a I'egard de la 

The last two paragraphs of the above are taken from the work of 
the missionary Turner, who lived for seventeen years in the islands of 

1 O'Donovan, "Three Fragments of Irish Annals," Dublin, 1860, pp. 10-12. 
The bodies of Indian chiefs in Venezuela were incinerated, the ashes drunk in native 
liquor. " Tuestanlo, muelenlo, y echado en vino lo beben y esto esgranhonra.' — 
Gromara, "Historia de las Indias," p. 203. 


Polynesia; they appear in his "Samoa," London, 1884, p. 79, But in 
the same book, issued under the title " Polynesia," London, 1861, it 
has been expunged. 

The mother of the King of Uganda invited Speke to visit her and 
drink pombe, the native plantain wine ; when she happened to spill 
some of this the servants " instantly fought over it, dabbing their 
noses on the ground, or grabbing it with their hands, that not one 
atom of the queen's favor might be lost ; for everything must be 
adored that comes from royalty, whether by design or accident." 
(Speke, "Nile," London, 1863, voL ii. p. 313.) This is the Grand 
Lama business over again and nothing else. 

The people of Madagascar have an annual feast of the greatest solem- 
nity, during which no cattle are allowed to be slaughtered ; " which 
means that none can be eaten, as meat will not keep twenty-four hours 
in Madagascar." This festival is called " The Queen's Bath," and is 
arranged with much parade. " When the water was warm the queen 
stepped down and entered the curtained space. In a few moments 
salvos of artillery announced to the people that the queen was taking 
her bath. In a few minutes more she reappeared, sumptuously clothed 
with jewels. She carried a horn filled with the bath-water, with which 
she sprinkled the company." — (Evening Star," Washington, D. C, 
quoting from " Transcript," Boston, Massachusetts.) 

That the ruler of a tribe or nation is in some manner connected with 
and representative of the deities adored by the tribe or nation, is a form 
of man-worship presenting its most perfect manifestation in the rever- 
ence accorded the Grand Lama ; but no part of the world has been free 
from it, and among our own foref^ithers it obstinately held its ground 
in the opinion so long prevalent all over Europe that the touch of the 
king's hand would cure the scrofula. This remedial potency was also 
ascribed to women in a certain condition. 

" Scrofulous sores were believed by some to be cured by the touch 
of a menstruating woman." — (Pliny, Bohn's edition, lib, 28, cap. 

" The Hindu wife is in Paradise compared to the Hindu widow. The 
condition of the wife is bad enough. As the slave of her husband, she 
eats after he is through, and she eats what is left. She has no educa- 
tion to speak of, and her only hope of salvation is in him. She stands 
while he sits in the household ; and she cannot, if she lives in the inte- 
rior, go to the Ganges and bathe herself in the sacred water. I am 
told that in many cases she considers it a privilege to bathe her hus- 


band's feet after he returns, and thinks that she gets some absolution 
from sin by drinking the water." — (Frank G. Carpenter, in " World," 
New York, June 30, 1889.) 

" Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, possessed the power of curing individuals 
attacked by enlarged spleen by simply pressing his right foot upon that 
viscera." — (" The Physicians of the Middle Ages,' T. C. Minor, M.D., 
Cincinnati, Ohio, 1889, p. 5. A translation of " Le Moyea Age MtJdi- 
cale," of Dr. Edmond Dupouy.) 




^T^HE Bacchic orgies of the Greeks, while not strictly assimilated to 
-*- the ur-orgies, can scarcely be overlooked in this connection. 

Montfaucon describes the Omophagi of the Greeks : " Les Omopha- 
gies ^toient una fete des Grecs qui passoient la fureur Bacchique ; 
ils s'entortilloient, dit Arnobe, de serpens et mangeoient des entrailles 
de Cabri crues, dont ils avaient la bouche toute ensanglantee j cela 
est exprimee par le nom Omophage. Nous avons vu quelquefois des 
homines tous entortillez de serpens et particulierement dans Mithras." 
— (Montfaucon, " L'Antiquite expliquee," tome 2, book 4, p. 22.) 

The references to serpent-worship are curious, in view of the fact 
that such ophic rites still are celebrated among the Mokis, the next- 
door neighbors of the Zunis, and once existed among the Zunis them- 
selves. The allusion to Mithras would seem to imply that these orgies 
must have been known to the Persians as well as the Greeks. 

Bryant, speaking of the Greek orgies, uses this language : " Both in 
the orgies of Bacchus and in the rites of Ceres, as well as of other 
deities, one part of the mysteries consisted in a ceremony {omnphagia), 
at which time they ate the flesh quite crude with the blood. In Crete, 
at the Dionisiaca, they used to tear the flesh with their teeth from the 
animal when alive." — (Bryant, "Mythology," London, 1775, vol. ii. 
p. 12.) 

And again, on p. 13 : "The Msenules and Bacchoe used to devour 
the raw limbs of animals which they had cut or torn asunder. . . . 
In the island of Chios it was a religious custom to tear a man limb 
from limb, by w.ay of sacrifice to Dionysius. From all which we may 
learn one sad truth, that there is scarce anything so impious and un- 
natural as not, at times, to have prevailed." — (Idem.) 

Faber tells us that : " The Cretans had an annual festival . . . 
in their frenzy they tore a living bull with their teeth, and bran- 
dished serpents in their hands." — (Faber, "Pagan Idolatry," London, 
1816, vol ii. p. 265.) 



These orgies were duplicated among many of the tribes of North 
America. Paul Kane describes the inauguration of Clca-clach, a 
Clallum chief (northwest coast of British America) : " He seized a 
small dog and began devouring it alive." He also bit pieces from the 
shoulders of the male by-standers. — (See " Artist's Wanderings in 
North America," London, 1859, p. 212 ; also, the same thing quoted by 
Herbert Spencer in " Descriptive Sociology.") 

Speaking of these ceremonies, Dr. Franz Boas says : " Members of 
tribes practising the Hamatsa ceremonies show remarkable scars pro- 
duced by biting. At certain festivals it is the duty of the Hamatsa to 
bite a piece of flesh out of the arms, leg, or breast of a man." (" Report 
on the North- Western Indians of Canada," in " Proceedings of the British 
Association for the Advancement of Science," Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
Meeting, 1889, p. 12.) Doctor Boas demonstrates that the actions of 
the Hamatsa are an example of Eitualistic Cannibalism. (See idem, 
p. 55.) And, speaking of the secret societies observed among the 
Indians of the British northwest coast, he remarks that each has its 
own ceremonies. " The Nutlematl must be as filthy as possible." — 
(Idem, p. 54.) 

" Bernardiu de Saint Pierre, in his ' Etudes de la Nattire ' gives it as 
his opinion that to eat dog's-flesh is the first step towards cannibalism, 
and certainly, when I enumerate to myself the peoples whom I visited 
who actually, more or less, devoured human flesh, and find that among 
them dogs were invariably considered a delicacy, I cannot but believe 
that there is some truth in the hypothesis." (Schweinfurth, " Heart 
of Africa," London, 1872, vol. i. p. 191.) The Clallums, no doubt, in 
their frenzies, tore dogs to pieces as a substitute for the human victim 
of an earlier period in their culture. 

Bancroft describes like orgies among the Chimsyans, of British North 
America. (See in " Native Eaces of the Pacific Slope," vol. i. p. 171.) 
While the Nootkas medicine men are said to have an orgy in which 
" live dogs and dead human bodies are seized and torn by their teeth ; 
but, at least in later times, they seem not to attack the living, and 
their performances are somewhat less horrible and bloody than the 
wild orgies of the Northern tribes." — (Idem, vol. i. p. 202.) 

The Haidahs, of the same coast, indulge in an orgy in which the 
performer " snatches up the first dog he can find, kills him, and tear- 
ing pieces of his flesh, eats them." — (Dall, quoting Dawson, in " Masks 


and Labrets," Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, Washing- 
ton, D. C, 188G.) 

In describing the six secret soldier societies or bands of the Mandans, 
Maximilian, of Wied, calls attention to the three leaders of one band, 
who were called dogs, who are " obliged, if any one throws a piece of 
meat into the ashes or on the ground, saying, ' There, dog, eat,' to fall 
upon it and devour it raw, like dogs or beasts of prey." — (Maximilian, 
Prince of Wied, *' Travels," &c., Loudon, 1843, pp. 356, 446.) 

A further multiplication of references is unnecessary. The above 
would appear to be enough to establish the existence of almost identi- 
cal orgies in Europe, America, and Asia — orgies in which were per- 
petuated the ritualistic use of foods no longer employed by the popu- 
lace, and possibly commemorating a former condition of cannibalism. 


It would add much to the bulk of this chapter to show that the dog 
has almost invariably been employed as a substitute for man in sacri- 
fice. Other animals have performed the same vicarious office, but none 
to the same extent, especially among the more savage races. To the 
American Indians and other peoples of a corresponding stage of devel- 
opment, the substitution presents no logical incongruity. Their reli- 
gious conceptions are so strongly tinged with zoolatry that the assign- 
ment of animals to the role of deities or of victims is the most natural 
thing in the world ; but their belief is not limited to the idea that the 
animal is sacred ; it comprehends, additionally, a settled appreciation of 
the fact that lycanthropy is possible, and that the medicine-men pos- 
sess the power of transforming men into animals or animals into men. 
Such a belief was expressed to the writer in the most forcible way, in 
the village of Zufii, in 1881. The Indians were engaged in some one 
of their countless dances and ceremonies( and possibly not very far 
from the time of the urine dance), when the dancers seized a small 
dog and tore it limb from limb, venting upon it every torture that 
savage spite and malignity could devise. The explanation given was 
that the hapless cur was a " Navajo," a tribe to which the Zunis 
have been spasmodically hostile for generations, and from whose ranks 
the fortunes of war must have enabled them to drag an occasional cap- 
tive to be put to the torture and sacrificed. 

Mrs. Eastman describes the " Dog Dance " of the Sioux, in which 
the dogs represented Chippewas, and had their hearts eaten raw by 
the Sioux. 




^HE Indians in and around Cape Flattery, on the Pacific coast of 
-^ British North America, retain the urine dance in an xxnusually 
repulsive form. As was learned from Mr. Kennard, U. S. Coast Sur- 
vey, whom the writer had the pleasure of meeting in Washington, D. C, 
in 1886, the medicine men distil, from potatoes and other ingredients, 
a vile liquor, which has an irritating and exciting effect upon the 
kidneys and bladder. Each one who has partaken of this dish imme- 
diately urinates and passes the result to his next neighbor, who drinks. 
The effect is as above, and likewise a temporary insanity or delirium, 
during which all sorts of mad capers are carried on. The last man who 
quaffs the poison, distilled through the persons of five or six comrades, 
is so completely overcome that he falls in a dead stupor. 

Precisely the same use of a poisonous fungus has been described 
among the natives of the Pacific coast of Siberia, according to the 
learned Dr. J. W. Kingsley (of Brome Hall, Scole, England). Such a 
rite is outlined by Schultze. " The Shamans of Siberia drink a decoc- 
tion of toad-stools or the urine of those who have become narcotized by 
that plant." — (Schultze, " Fetichism," New York, 1885, p. 52.) 

The Ur-Orgy of the natives of Siberia should be found fully de- 
scribed by explorers in the employ of the Russian Government. Ap- 
plication was accordingly made by the author to the Hon. Lambert Tree, 
the American Minister at the Court of St. Petersburgh, who evinced a 
warm interest in the work of unearthing from the Imperial archives 
all that bore upon the use of the mushroom as a urino-intoxicant. 
Unfortunately, the official term of Mr. Tree having expired, no in- 
formation was obtained from him in time for incorporation in these 

Acknowledgment is due in this connection to Mr. Wurtz, the Ameri- 
can Charge d'Afiaires at St. Petersburgh, as well as to his Excellency 
the Russian Minister of Public Instruction, for courteous interest 



manifested in the investigations made necessary by the amplification 
of the original pamplilet. 

Conferences were also had with his Excellency the Chinese Minister 
and with Dr. H. T. Allen, Secretary of the Corean Legation, in Wash- 
ington, but beyond developing the fact that in the minor medicine of 
those countries resort was still had to excrementitious curatives, the 
information deduced was meagre and unimportant. 

Dependence was therefore necessarily placed upon the accounts of 
American or English explorers of undisputed authority, 

George Kennau describes a wedding which he saw in one of the vil- 
lages of Kamtchatka : "After the conclusion of the ceremony we re- 
moved to an adjacent tent, and were surprised as we came out into the 
open air to see three or four Koraks shouting and reeling in an ad- 
vanced stage of intoxication, — celebrating, I suppose, the happy wed- 
ding which had just transpired. I knew that there was not a drop of 
alcoholic liquor in all Northern Kamtchatka, nor, so far as I knew, 
anything from which it could be made, and it was a mystery to me 
how they had succeeded in becoming so suddenly, thoroughly, hope- 
lessly, undeniably drunk. Even Ross Browne's beloved Washoe, with 
its ' howling wilderness ' saloons, could not have turned out more 
creditable specimens of intoxicated humanity than those before us. 

" The exciting agent, whatever it might be, was certainly as quick 
in its operation and as effective in its results as any ' tanglefoot ' or 
'bottled 'lightning' known to modern civilization. 

" Upon inquiry, we learned to our astonishment that they had been 
eating a species of the plant vulgarly known as 'toadstool.' There is 
a peculiar fungus of this class in Siberia, known to the natives as ' muk- 
a-rnoor,' and as it possesses active intoxicating properties, it is used as 
a stimulant by nearly all the Siberian tribes. 

" Taken in large doses, it is a violent narcotic poison, but in small 
doses it produces all the effects of alcoholic liquor. 

" Its habitual use, however, completely shatters the nervous system, 
and its sale by Russian traders to the natives has consequently been 
made a penal offence by the Russian law. In spite of all prohibitions 
the trade is still secretly carried on, and I have seen twenty dollars' 
worth of furs bought with a single fungus. 

" The Koraks would gather it for themselves, but it requires the 
shelter of timber for its growth, and is not to be found on the barren 
steppes over which they wander ; so that they are obliged for the most 
part to buy it at enormous prices from the Russian traders. It may 


sound strangely to American ears, but the invitation which a convivial 
Korak extends to his passing friend is not ' Come in and have a drink,' 
but ' Won't you come in and take a toadstooH ' — not a very alluring 
proposal perhaps to a civilized toper, but one which has a magical 
effect upon a dissipated Korak. As the supply of these toadstools is 
by no means equal to the demand, Korak ingenuity has been greatly 
exercised in the endeavor to economize the precious stimulant and 
make it go as far as possible. 

" Sometimes in the course of human events it becomes imperatively 
necessary that a whole band should get drunk together, and they have 
only one toadstool to do it with. For a description of the manner in 
which this band gets drunk collectively and individually upon one 
fungus, and keeps drunk for a week, the curious reader is referred to 
Goldsmith's ' A Citizen of the World,' Letter 32. 

" It is but just to say, however, that this horrible practice is almost 
entirely confined to the settled Koraks of Penzshiuk Gulf, — the 
lowest, most degraded portion of the whole tribe. It may prevail to 
a limited extent among the wandering natives, but I never heard of 
more than one such instance outside the Penzshink Gulf settlements." 
— ("Tent Life in Siberia," George Kennan, New York and London, 
1887, pp. 202-204.) 

Oliver Goldsmith speaks of " a curious custom" among ''the Tartars 
of Koraki. . . . The Russians who trade with them carry thither a 
kind of mushroom. . . . These mushrooms the rich Tartars lay up in 
large quantities for the winter; and when a nobleman makes a mush- 
room feast all the neighbors around are invited. The mushrooms are 
prepared by boiling, by which the water acquires an intoxicating quali- 
ity, and is a sort of drink which the Tartars prize beyond all other. 
When the nobility and ladies are assembled, and the ceremonies 
usual between people of distinction over, the mushroom bi'oth goes 
freely round, and they laugh, talk douhle-entendres, grow fuddled, and 
become excellent company. • The poorer sort, who love mushroom 
broth to distraction as well as the rich, but cannot afford it at first 
hand, post themselves on these occasions round the huts of the rich, 
and watch the opportunity of the ladies and gentlemen as they come 
down to pass their liquor, and holding a wooden bowl, catch the deli- 
cious fluid, very little altered by filtration, being still strongly tinc- 
tured with the intoxicating quality. Of this they drink with the 
utmost satisfaction, and thus they get as drunk and as jovial as their 


" * Happy nobility ! * cried my companion, ' who can fear no diminu- 
tion of respect unless seized with strangury, and who when drunk are 
most useful ! Though we have not this custom among us, I foresee 
that if it were introduced, we might have many a toad-eater in Eng- 
land ready to drink from the wooden bowl on these occasions, and to 
praise the flavor of his lordship's liquor. As we have different classes 
of gentry, who knows but we may see a lord holding the bowl to the min- 
ister, a knight holding it to his lordship, and a simple squire drinking 
it double-distilled from the loins of knighthood]'" — (Oliver Gold- 
smith, "Letters from a Citizen of the World," No. 32. This is based 
upon Philip Van Stralenburgh's "Histori-Geographical Description of 
the North and Eastern Part of Europe and Asia," London, 1736, 
p. 397.) 

" The Amanita muscaria possesses an intoxicating property, and is 
employed by Northern nations as an iuebriant. The following is the 
account of Langsdorf, as given by Greville : — 

"This variety of Amanita muscaria is used by the inhabitants of 
the northeastern parts of Asia in the same manner as wine, brandy, 
arrack, opium, etc., is by other nations. Such fungi are found most 
plentifully about Wischna, Kamtchatka, and Willowa Derecona, and 
are very abundant in some seasons, and scarce in others. They are 
collected in the hottest months, and hung up by a string to dry in the 
air ; some dry themselves on the ground, and are said to be far more 
narcotic than those artificially preserved. Small, deep-colored speci- 
mens, deeply covered with warts, are also said to be more powerful 
than those of a larger size and paler color. 

" The usual mode of taking the fungus is to roll it up like a bolus 
and swallow it without chewing, which the Kamtchkadales say wotild 
disorder the stomach. 

"It is sometimes eaten fresh in soups and sauces, and then loses 
much of its intoxicating property. When steeped in the juice of the 
berries of the Vaccinum nliginosum, its effects are those of a strong wine. 
One large and two small fungi are a common dose to produce a pleasant 
intoxication for a whole day, particularly if water be drunk after it, 
which augments the narcotic principle. 

" The desired eff'ect comes in from one to two hours after taking the 
fungus. Giddiness and drunkenness result in the same manner as 
from wine or spirits; cheerful emotions of the mind are first produced, 
the countenance becomes flushed, involuntary words and actions fol- 
low, and sometimes at last an entire loss of consciousness. It renders 


some remarkably active, and proves highly stimulating to muscular 
exertion. By too large a dose violent spasmodic effects are produced. 
So very exciting to the nervous system in some individuals is this 
fungus that the effects are often very ludicrous. If a person under its 
influence wishes to step over a straw or a small stick, he takes a stride 
or a jump sufficient to clear the trunk of a tree. A talkative person 
cannot keep silence or secrets, and one fond of music is perpetually 

" The most singular effect of the Amanita is the influence it possesses 
over the urine. It is said that from time immemorial the inhabitants 
have known that the fungus imparts an intoxicating quality to that 
secretion, which continues for a considerable time after taking it. For 
instance, a man moderately intoxicated to-day will by the next morn- 
ing have slept himself sober; but (as is the custom) by taking a cup 
of his urine he will be more powerfully intoxicated than he was the pre- 
ceding day. It is therefore not uncommon for confirmed drunkards to 
preserve their urine as a precious liquor against a scaixity of the 

** The intoxicating property of the urine is capable of being propa- 
gated, for every one who partakes of it has his urine similarly affected. 
Thus with a very few Amanitoe a party of drunkards may keep uj) 
their debauch for a week. Dr. Langsdorf mentions that by means of 
the second person taking the urine of the first, the third of the second, 
and so on, the intoxication may be propagated through five individuals." 
— (English Cyclop., London, 1854, vol ii., "Natural History," article 
" Fungi." London : Bradbury and Evans.) 

" They make feasts when one village entertains another, either upon 
account of a wedding, or having had a plentiful fishing or hunting. 
The landlords entertain their guests with great bowls of oponga, till 
they are all set a-vomiting ; sometimes they use a liquor made of a 
large mushroom, with which the Eussians kill flies. This they prepare 
with the juice of epilobium or French willow. The first symptom of a 
man being affected with this liquor is a trembling in all his joints, and 
in half an hour he begms to rave as if in a fever ; and is either merry 
or melancholy mad according to his peculiar constitution. Some jump, 
dance, and sing ; others weep and are in terrible agonies, a small hole 
appearing to them as a great pit, and a spoonful of water as a lake ; 
but this is to be understood of those who take it to excess ; for, taken 
in small quantity, it raises their spirits, and makes them brisk, cour- 
ageous, and cheerful- 


" It is observed whenever they have eaten of this plant, they main- 
tain that whatever foolish things they did, they only obeyed the com- 
mands of the mushroom ; however, the use of it is so dangerous that 
unless they were well looked after, it would be the destruction of num- 
bers of them. The Kamtchadales do not much care to relate these 
drunken frolics, and perhaps the continual use of it renders it less 
dangerous to them. One of our Cossacks resolved to eat of this mush- 
room in order to surprise his comrades, and this he actually did ; but 
it was with great difficulty they preserved his life. Another of the 
inhabitants of Kamtchatka, by the use of this mushroom, imagined 
that he was upon the brink of hell ready to be thrown in, and that the 
mushroom ordered him to fall on his knees and make a full confession 
of all the sins he could remember, which he did before a great num- 
ber of his comrades, to their no small diversion. It is related that a 
soldier of the garrison, having eaten a little of this mushroom, walked 
a great way without any fatigue ; but at last, having taken too great a 
quantity, he died. 

" My interpreter drank some of this juice without knowing of it, and 
became so mad that it was with difficulty we kept him from ripping 
open his belly, being, as he said, ordered to do so by the mushroom. 

" The Kamtchadales and the Koreki eat of it when they resolve to 
murder anybody ; and it is in such esteem among the Koreki that they 
do not allow any one that is drunk with it to make water upon the 
ground, but they give him a vessel to save his urine in, which they 
drink ; and it has the same effect as the mushroom itself. 

"None of this mushroom grows in their country, so that they are 
obliged to purchase it of the Kamtchadales. Three or four of them 
are a moderate dose, but when they want to get drunk they take ten. 
The women never use it, so that all their merriment consists in 
jesting, dancing, and singing." — ("The History of Kamtchatka and 
the Kurile Islands," by James Grieve, M. D., Gloucester, England, 
1764, pp. 207-209.) 

"I do not think that the urine would keep very long, and decom- 
position would destroy the Amanitine, which I believe to be the intoxi- 
cating principle. If I remember aright, it has been obtained as an 
alkaloid." — (Personal letter from Dr. J. W. Kingsley, Cambridge, 
England, dated Aug. 18, 1888.) 

" If the Yakut was a good and loving spouse, he would go directly 
home and eject the contents of his stomach into a vessel of water, 
which then he placed out of doors to cool and collect ; and from the 


rich, floating vomit his wife and children would afterwards enjoy a 
hearty meal. The lucky possessor of a stomach full of Vodki may, in 
a benevolent mood, similarly dispose of a part of his repletion, minus 
the water, and away to the Eastward, among the Tchuchees, families 
are often regaled even to inebriation with the natural fluid discharge 
from the bodies of fortunate tipplers. . . . Saving the natives them- 
selves it is their most disgusting institution, and if any Christian mis- 
sionary be earnestly seeking a fresh field to labor in, I can assure him 
that no soil is more desperately in need of cultivation than the Tchuchee 
Country." — ("In the Lena Delta," George W. Melville, Chief Engi- 
neer, U. S. Navy, Boston, Massachusetts, 1885, page 318.) 

" Amanita muscaria has been employed as fly-poison, whence its vul- 
gar name. M. Poquet states that climate does not modify its poisonous 
qualities. The Czar Alexis died from eating it, yet the Kamtchatkans 
eat it, or are said to do so, as also the Eussians. In Siberia, it is used as 
an intoxicating agent. Cook says it is taken as a bolus, and that its 
effects combine those produced by alcohol and haschish. The property 
is imparted to the fluid secretion (urine) of rendering it intoxicating, 
which property it retains for a considerable time. A man, having 
been intoxicated on one day and slept himself sober the next, will, by 
drinking this liquor to the extent of about a cupful, become as much 
intoxicated as he was before. . . . Urine is preserved in Siberia to this 
end. . . . The intoxicating property may be communicated to any person 
who partakes ... to the third, fourth, and even fifth distillation." — 
(M. C. Cook, "British Fungi," London, 1882, pp. 21, 22.) 

Henry Lamsdell ("Through Siberia," London, 1882, vol. ii. p. 645) 
describes the "fly agaric." He says that it is used by the Koraks to 
produce intoxication. " So powerful is the fungus that the native who 
eats it remains drunk for several days ; and by a process too disgusting 
to be described, half a dozen individuals may be successively intoxi- 
cated by the effects of a single mushroom, each in a less degree than 
his predecessor." 

" The Koraks prepare the ' muk-a-moor ' by steeping it. In a few 
minutes the fortunate ones get thoroughly intoxicated, and imbibe to 
such an extent that they are forced to relieve themselves of the supei-- 
fluity, on which occasions the poorer people stand prepared with bowls 
to catch the liquid, which they quaff, and, in turn, become intoxicated. 
In this manner, a whole settlement will sometimes get drunk from 
liquor consumed by one individual." — (Richard J. Bush, " Reindeer 
Dogs and Snow-Shoes," London, no date, p. 357.). 


Salverte gives two pages to a description of the effects of the " fly 
agaric " or " raucha-more " of the Russians ; he shows how it leads men 
to the commission of murder, suicide, and other excesses, but makes 
no alhision to the drinking of urine, although he quotes from Gmelin, 
Krachenninikof and Beniowski, all of whom must have had some ac- 
(juaintance with its peculiar properties. According to Salverte the use 
of tliis fungus might well be referred to the category of Sacred Intoxi- 
cants. — (See " Philosophy of Magic," Eusebe Salverte, New York, 1862, 
vol. ii. pp. 19, 20.) 

" Before the conquest, they seldom used anything for drink but 
water, but when they made merry they drank water which had stood 
for some time upon mushrooms ; but of this more hereafter." — (" His- 
tory of Kamtchatka and the Kurile Islands," James Grieve, M. D., 
Gloucester, England, 1764, p. 195.) 

See previous citation from the same author. 

A mere reference to the trade carried on by the Russians and Kamt- 
chadales with the Koruks in Agaricus muscarius is to be found in 
" Langsdorfs Voyages," London, 1814, vol. ii. p. 318. " It is said that 
the sort of mushroom which they procure from Kamtchadales is pre- 
ferred by them as a means of exhilaration or intoxication to brandy." 
(Idem, p. 320.) He adds: "Some remarks of mine upon this sub- 
ject will be found in the Annals of the Society for promoting the 
Knowledge of Natural History." — (Idem, p. 321.) 

" The use of the intoxicating fungus in Siberia, and that of the urine 
flavored by it, is mentioned in Steller's ' History of Kamtchatka,' 
which is, I believe, the earliest and best authority in reference to it." 
— (Personal letter from Hon. John S. Hittell, San Francisco, April 
24, 1888.) 

Although Grieve's account is, in the main, derived from Steller, 
every effort was made to find the latter author and examine his own 
language. The copy belonging to the Library of Congress had been mis- 
laid, and it was not possible to find it; but the extensive Arctic Li- 
brary of General A. W. Greely, U. S. Army, the polar explorer, was 
most kindly placed at the author's disposal, and there the long-coveted 
volume was, translated by Mr. Bunnemeyer, to whom the warmest 
acknowledgments are due. 

George William Steller was born March 10, 1709, at Winsheim. 
In 1734, he went to Russia, where he became an adjunct and mem- 
ber of The Imperial Academy of Sciences. In 17.58, he was dele- 
gated to explore Kamtchatka, especially its natural history. After 


completing the task and making voyages to various other regions, 
he attempted twice to return to St. Petersburgh, but each time re- 
ceived orders to return to Irkutsk to answer charges there brouglit 
.against him. He did not reach Irkutsk the second time, but was frozen 
to death while his guard entered a way-side inn, and was buried at 
Tumen, in November, 174G. The following are his remarks about 
poisonous mushrooms : " Among the Champignons, the poisonous toad- 
stool, called mucha-moor in Russian, is held in greatest esteem. At 
the Russian ostrag it has long ago fallen into disfavor, but is used so 
much the more in the vicinity of the Tzil and towards the Korakian 
boundar3^ This mushroom is dried and swallowed in large pieces with- 
out mastication, followed by large draughts of cold water. In the 
course of half an hour, raging drunkenness and strange hallucina- 
tions result. The Korakians and Jukagiri are still more addicted to 
this vice, and buy the fungus from the Russians whenever they can. 
Those too poor to do so collect the urine of those under the influence 
of the drug and drink it, which makes them equally as drunk and 

" The urine is equally effective to the fourth and fifth man. Rein- 
deer frequently devour these mushrooms with great avidity, becoming 
drunk and wild, and finally fall into a deep sleep. When found in this 
state, it is not killed until the effects of the drug have passed away, as 
otherwise its meat when eaten will cause the same frenzied intoxica- 
tion as the mushroom itself." 

"The dance and custom you describe as existing among the Sibe- 
rians I know nothing of. I neither saw nor heard of it. I do not 
think there is any of the mushroom species in the Tchuktchi country. 
The laud is absolutely barren. I lived in the tents of that people for 
seven or eight months, and they never paid any attention to me as a 
stranger, in the way of hiding their customs fi-om me. They would 
have their drumming and medicine performances before me, just as 
though I was one of them. The custom you allude to may prevail 
among the Yukouts and Tchuktchi, nevertheless, but I think it more 
probable that it exists with the Northwest tribes, such as the Samo- 
ycds or Osjaks." — (Personal letter from the Arctic explorer, W. H. 
Gilder, author of " Schwatka's Search," etc., dated New York, 
Oct. 15, 1889.) 

"Captain Healey, of the revenue cutter 'Bear,' brought to this 
place, last autumn, a shipwrecked seaman, who had been rescued by 
the Siberian Tchuktchis, with whom he remained some two years. 


He described their mode of making au intoxicating liquor thus : in 
the summer, mushrooms or fungi were collected in large quantit}', and 
eaten by a man who, like our Indians, prepared himself by fiisting for 
the feast. After eating enormous quantities of the fungi, he vomited 
into a receptacle, and again loaded up, time and again, and disgorged 
the stufi" in a semi-fermented or half-digested condition. It was swal- 
lowed by those who were waiting for the drink ; and his urine was 
also imbibed, to aid in producing a debauch, resulting in frenzied 
intoxication." — (Personal letter from Surgeon B. J. D. Irwin, U. S. 
army, dated San Francisco, Cal., April 28, 1888.) 

" The seaman, J. B. Vincent, whom I found with the Tchuktchi last 
summer, says that they collect in their tents a species of fungi, and 
during their carnival season, corresponding to about our Christmas 
holidays, one man is selected, who masticates a quantity of it, and 
drinks an enormous supply of water ; he then gets into his deer's 
team, and is driven from camp to camp, repeating the mastication and 
drinking at each camp, where his urine is drunk by the people with 
an effect of intoxication. The arrival of this man is hailed with 
much pomp and ceremony by the people. The seaman, Vincent, 
witnessed several of these ceremonies, and was pressed to join in the 
orgies, being called ' a boy,' when he declined to sustain his part." — 
(Personal letter from Capt. M. A. Healey, U. S. R. M. Steamer 
"Bear," dated San Francisco, Cal., May 19, 1888.) 

Kamtchadales. — " These people formerly had no other drink than 
water, and to make themselves a little lively they used to drink an 
infusion of mushrooms." — ("From Paris to Pekin," Meignan, Lon- 
don, 1885, p. 281.) 

D'Auteroche, who made a journey from St. Petersburgh to Tobolsk 
in Siberia, in compliance with an invitation from the Empi'ess Cath- 
erine, in the middle of the last century, to observe the transit of 
Venus, makes no mention of the mushroom-orgies of the natives. 
His work was not of much value, in an ethnological sense, being 
largely restricted to descriptions of the mineral resources of the regions 
traversed, and only to a slight degree attending to tlie ethnology of 
the country. 

It is strange that Maltebrun, although familiar with Steller, does 
not refer to the mushroom orgy. He does say of the Kamtchadales : 
"In summer, the women go into the woods to gather vegetables, and 
during this occupation they give way to a libertine frenzy like that 



of the ancient Bacchautes." — (" Universal Geography," American 
edition, Boston, Mass., 1847, vol. i. p. 347, article "Siberia.") 

Stanley's "Congo," New York, 1885, was examined carefully, but 
no reference to any use of urine or ordure was found in it. 

An identical experience was had with the " Voyages " of John 
Strays, ti'anslated out of the Dutch, by John Morrison, London, 1G83, 
and with Nordjenskold's Voyages, translated by Horgaard, London, 

As the two latter travellers had entered Siberia, it seemed probable 
that they might liave come upon traces of the Ur-orgies of some of 
the wild tribes like the Koraks, Tchuktchi, and others. 

Salverte's opinion that this use of the mushroom may be included 
in the category of Sacred Intoxicants, is shown to be accurate by 
a comparison with the statement made by the shipwrecked sailor, 
Vincent, who undoubtedly may be accepted as the most competent 
witness who has ever presented himself. 

According to him, there was a man "selected," who "prepared 
himself by fasting ; " the " feast " took place " during their carnival 
season," "corresponding to about our Christmas holidays" (i. e., the 
winter solstice), and there was much attendant " pomp and ceremony." 
Add to this the statement made by Gi'ieve, " they maintain that what- 
ever foolish things they did, they only obeyed the commands of the 
mushroom," and we have the needed Personification to prove that 
the fungus was reverenced as a deity, much as on another page will 
be shown that certain African tribes apotheosized a member of the 
same vegetable family. 

If not for Sacred Intoxication, then the question may be asked, For 
what reason did the Siberians and others use the poisonous fungus? 
The only answer possible is, that, in the absence of the cereals and 
under the pressure of a desire for stimulants, the aborigines resorted 
to all kinds of vegetable substances, as can be shown to have been the 
case from the history of many nations. Mythology is replete with 
examples of the occult virtues of plants, such as the mandrake 
and many othei's. 

Certainly, the religious veneration with which they were regarded 
was not more fully deserved than by this wonderful toxic, — the Ama- 
nita muscaria. The thirst for stimulants has been very generally 
diffused all over the world ; there is no reason to believe that any 
tribe has existed without an occasional use of something of the kind. 

According to the Chinese, an alcoholic liquor called " Tsew " was 


invented by Etoib, in the reign of To-ke, 2197 before the Christian 
era. See "Chinese Repository," Canton, 1841, vol. x. p. 126. 

Mr. John McElhone, the stenographer of the House of Representa- 
tives and a sciiolar of no mean attainments, stated to the author that 
he remembered having read in an old volume, the name of which he 
could not recall, of a feast given some centuries ago at the coronation 
of one of the kings of Hungary, at which the nobles were regaled 
with the rarest wines, but the plebeians were content to drink the 
resulting urine. There may be in Hungary, whether we regard it as 
peopled by the Hun-oi, or, later, by the Turkish element, an infusion 
of the same race-traits as are to be found at this day in Kamtchatka 
and other portions of Siberia. 

Salverte speaks of the intoxicating effects of the " muk-a-moor," but 
enters into no particulars. (See " Philosophy of Magic," Eusebe 
Salverte, New York, 1882, vol. ii. p. 19.) 

The people of Kamtchatka make intoxicants out of certain herbs. 
(Steller, " Kamtchatka," translated by ^Ir. Bunnemeyer.) And we 
are further told that, while the people are gathering these herbs, much 
jtrostitution prevails, and everywhere there are willing girls in the 

"The settled Koraks" of Kamtchatka, " eat the intoxicating Siberian 
toadstool in inordinate quantities ; and this habit alone will in time 
debase and brutalize any body of men to the last degree." — ("Tent 
Life in Siberia," George Kennan, twelfth edition, New York, 1887, 
p. 233.) 

No allusion to the use of mushrooms as an intoxicant can be found 
in Sauer, "Expedition to the North Parts of Russia," London, 18C2. 
Henry Seebohm ("Siberia in Asia," London, 1882) makes no mention 
of the urine-orgies of the inhabitants. 


The following paragraph deserves more than a passing mention : — 
" The Borgie well, at Cambuslang, near Glasgow, is credited with 
making mad those who drink from it ; according to the local rhyme, 

' A drink of the Borgie, a bite of the weed, 
Sets a' tlie Cam'slang folk wrang in the head.' 

The weed is the weedy fungi." — ("Folk-Medicine," Black, Loudon, 
1883, p. 104.) 


Camden says that the Irish " delight in lierhs, . . . especially 
cresses, mushrooms, and roots." — (" Britannia," edition of London, 
1753, vol. ii. p. 1422.) 

Other references to the Siberian fungus are inserted to afford stu- 
dents the fullest possible opportunity to understand all that was 
available to the author himself on this point. 

" AgaricHS muscarius is one of the most injurious, yet it is used as a 
means of intoxication by the Kamtchadales. One or two of them are 
sufficient to produce a slight intoxication, which is peculiar in its char- 
acter. It stimulates the muscular powers and greatly excites the 
nervous system, leading the partakers into the most ridiculous ex- 
travagances." — (American Cyclopaedia, New York, 1881, article 
" Fungi.") 

Agaricus muscarius. " This is the ' mouche-more ' of the Russians, 
Kamtchadales, and Koriars, who use it for intoxication. They some- 
times eat it dry, and sometimes immerse it in a liquor made with the 
epilobinm, and when they drink this liquor they are seized with con- 
vulsions in all their limbs, followed by that kind of raving which at- 
tends a bui'ning fever. Tiiey personify this mushroom, and if they 
are urged by its effects to suicide or any dreadful crime, they pretend 
to obey its commands. To fit themselves for premeditated assassina- 
tion they recur to the use of the ' mouche-more.' A powder of the 
root, or of that part of the stem which is covered by the earth, is recom- 
mended in epileptic cases, and externally applied for dissipating hard, 
globular swellings and for healing ulcers." — (Cyclopaedia, Philadelphia, 
no date, Samuel Bradford, vol. i. article "Agaric") 

'* One of the most poisonous species of the genus is the ' fly agaric,' 
so named because the fungus is often steeped and the solution used for 
the destruction of the house-fly. ... It is as attractive and as 
poisonous as it is beautiful. In Kamtchatka, it is highly prized for its 
poisonous properties, producing, as it does, in the eater a peculiar in- 
toxication. The fungus is gathered and dried ; and when a native 
wishes to engage in a debauch, he has but to swallow a piece, when in 
u few hours he will be in his glory." — (Johnson's New Universal Cyclo- 
paedia, New York, 1878, article "Mushroom.") 

Poisonous fungi. " Several of this natural order are poisonous, es- 
pecially those belonging to the genera Amanita and Agaricus. . . . 
The sufferers are often relieved by vomiting." — (Encyclopaedia Britan- 
nica, edition of 1841, article " Medical Jurisprudence," vol. xiv. pp. 506, 
507.) Speaking of the poisonous fungi, the same authority says : 


" The effects are singularly various, . . . among them being giddiness, 
confusion, delirium, stupor, coma, and convulsions." — (Idem, vol. xviii. 
p. 178, article "Poison.") 

" The boletus mentioned by Juvenal on account of the death of the 
Emperor Claudius." — (Cyclopaedia, Philadelphia, no date, vol. xxv. 
article "Mushroom.") 

There are several allusions to the custom of poisoning with mush- 
rooms to be found in Juvenal, — for example, in the first and fifth 

Tacitus says that when Claudius was poisoned the poison " was 
poured into a dish of mushrooms." — (" Annals," Oxford translation, 
Bohn, London, 1871, lib. 12.) 

After the Emperor Claudius had been poisoned by mushrooms given 
by his wife Messalina, the Emperor Nero, his successor, was wont to 
call the boletus " the food of the gods." (See footnote to Rev. Lewis 
Evans's translation of the sixth satire of Juvenal, p. 64, edition of New 
York, 1860, citing Suetonius's " Nero " Tacitus's "Annals," and Mar- 
tial's "Epigrams," L epistle XXI.) 

Plutarch says that it was a common opinion that " thimder engen- 
ders mushrooms." — ("Morals," Goodwin's English edition, Boston, 
1870, vol. iii. p. 298.) 

Gilder, who crossed over Siberia from Behring's Straits to St. Peters- 
burgh, stopping en route with many of the wild tribes, makes no allu- 
sion to the use of the " muck-a-moor " or to any Ur-orgy. (See 
" Ice-pack and Tundra," New York, 1883.) 

"The Agaricus muscarius is used by the natives of Kamtchatka 
and Korea to produce intoxication." — (Lire's "Dictionary of Arts, 
Manufactures, and Mines," London, 1878, vol. ii. article "Fungi.") 

" Their reputation as aphrodisiacs is thought to be unfounded, 
having its origin in the old doctrine of resemblances." (American 
Cyclopaedia, New York, 1881, article "Fungi.") Probably from the 
appearance of the "phallus" fungus. 

There seems to have been some superstition attaching to the elder 
dating from veiy remote times. It is said in Gerrard's " Herbal," 
Johnson's edition, page 1428, "that the arbor Jiidce is thought to be 
that whereon Judas hanged himself, and not upon the elder-tree, as is 
vulgarly said." I am clear that the mushrooms or excrescences of the 
elder-tree, called auriculie Jxidoe in Latin, and commonly rendered 
" Jew's-ears," ought to be translated " Judas's-ears," from the popular 
superstition above mentioned. Coles, in his " Adam in Eden," speak- 


ing of " Jew's-ears," says : " It is called in Latin Fungus Samhucinum 
and Auriculae Judoe, some having supposed the elder-tree to be that 
whereon Judas hanged himself, and that ever since these mushrooms 
like unto ears have grown thereon, which I will not persuade you to 
believe." In '* Paradoxical Assertions," is a silly question, — " why 
Jews are said to stink naturally. Is it because the ' Jew's ears' grow 
on stinking elder, which tree the fox-headed Judas was supposed to 
have hanged himself on, so that natural stink hath been entailed on 
them and their posterity as it were ex traduce ? The elder seems to 
have been given in the time of Queen Elizabeth as a token of 
disgrace. It was credited with the power to cure epilepsy, to 
strengthen the loins of men, especially in riding, as it prevented all 
gall and chafing, etc., and had additionally the property of making 
horses stale." — (Brand, " Popular Antiquities," London, 1872, vol. iii. 
p. 283, article " Physical Charms.") 

Sambucus (elder) is mentioned by Frommann as a remedy for epi- 
lepsy. — (" Tractatus de Fascinatione," Nuremberg, 1675, p. 270.) 

Have we not a right to inquire why in primitive pharmacy certain 
remedies were employed 1 The principle of similia similibus is very 
old and deeply rooted. Perhaps the fungus of the elder may have 
once been employed in inducing intoxication and frenzy. 

"The Ostiaks, the Kamtchadales, and other inhabitants of Asiatic 
Russia, find in one of the gild-bearing family — the Amanita viuscaria 
— the exhilaration and madness that more civilized nations demand and 
receive of alcohol, and enjoy a narcotism from its extracts as seductive 
as that of opium. The Fiji Islanders ai'e indebted to toadstools strung on 
a string for girdles which alone prevent them from being classed among 
the ' poor and naked,' and their sole sesthetic occupation lies in orna- 
menting their limited wardrobe. The Fiji fishermen especially value 
them highly because they are water-proof. Cerdier tells us that the ne- 
groes on the west coast of Africa exalt a certain kind of boletus to the 
sacredness of a god, and bow down in worship before it ; for this reason 
Afzeltus has named this variety boletus sacer. A French chemist has 
extracted wax from the milk-giving kind, but has not stated the price 
of candles made from it. Others of the delving fraternity have shown 
that toadstools may be used in the manufacture of Prussian blue in- 
stead of blood, for, like certain animal matter, they furnish prussic 
acid. As fungi, after the manner of all animal life, breathe oxygen and 
throw off carbonic acid gas, their flesh partakes of animal i-ather than 
of vegetable nature. 


" In their decomposition they are capital fertilizers of surrounding 
plants, and in seasons when they are plentiful it will repay the agricul- 
turist to make use of them as manure. 

" According to Linnaeus, the Lapps delighted in the perfume of some 
species, and carried them upon their persons so that they might be the 
more attractive. Linnaeus exclaims, ' Venus ! thou that scarcely 
sufficest thyself in other countries with jewels, diamonds, precious 
stones, gold, purple, music, and spectacle, art here satisfied with a 
simple toadstool ! ' 

"A variety of boletus — a tube-bearing species — is powdered, and 
used as a protector of clothing against insects. The Agariais musca- 
rius constitutes a well-known poison to the common house-fly. It 
intoxicates them to such a degree that they can be swept up and de- 

" Certain polypori — those large, dry, corky growths found upon 
logs and trees — when properly seasoned, sliced, and beaten, engage 
large manufactories in producing from them the punk of commerce, 
used by the surgeon for the arrest of hemorrhage, the artist for his 
shading stump, and the Fourth of July urchin for his pyrotechnic 
purposes. A species of polyporus is used in Italy as scrubbing 
brushes. In countries where fire-producing is unknown or laborious, 
and the luxury of lucifers denied, the dried fungus enables the trans- 
portation of fire from one place to another over great distances. 

" The inhabitants of Franconia use the hammered slices instead of 
chamois-skin for underclothing. 

"Another polyporus takes its place among manufacturers as the highly 
necessary razor-strop. Northern nations make bottle-stoppers of them, 
as their corky nature suggests. The polyporus of the birch-tree ( Poli/- 
porus hetulinns) increases the delight of smokers by its delicious flavor 
when mixed with tobacco." — (Lippincott's Magazine, Philadelphia, 
Penn., 1888.) 

Before going further we are confronted with the statement that the 
African negroes bow down in worship before a certain kind of boletus. 
It is much to be regretted that Cerdier did not discover for what toxic 
or other property it was thus apotheosized. 

Similarly, scholars cannot remain satisfied with the assurance that 
the Fiji Islanders use toadstools for girdles only, or that the Lapps 
carried other varieties upon their persons to enhance their personal 
attractions. Some aphrodisiac potency is more likely to have been 
ascribed to them in each case, which would account for the care dis- 


played in their preservation, and justify the suspicion that they were 
kept ready to hand as provocatives to lust. 

Dr. J. H. Porter is authority for the statement that in one of the 
Sagas mention is made of a man bewitched by a Lapland witch, 
who gave him an infusion of poisonous mushroom, which set him 

" Lichens," says De Candolle, " present two classes of properties, 
which are developed by different agents^ and especially by maceration 
in urine." — (Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. v. edition of 1841.) 

There is an example of the employment of mushrooms in medicine 
for the stoppage of hemorrhages of various kinds, which can be traced 
back to the writings of Hippocrates. — (See " Saxon Leechdoms," 
vol. iii. p. 143.) 

" Some species of mushrooms, notably the Agaricus volvaceus con- 
tain sugar, which can be extracted in crystals, and is capable of under-- 
going the vinous fermentation." — (Encyclopaedia Britannica, edition 
of 1841, vol. vi. pp. 473, 474, article "Chemistry.") 

No instance of anything resembling the Ur-Orgy of the Siberians 
has been described among the Australians, but there is no knowing 
what further investigation may discover of the life and mode of 
thought of the wild tribes inhabiting that great continent, or island, 
as the reader pleases. 

" The Australians will not eat ' the common mushroom,' although 
they eat almost all other kinds of fungus." — ("The Native Tribes of 
South Australia," Adelaide, 1879, received through the kindness of 
the Royal Society, Sydney, New South Wales, T. B. Kyngdou, Esq., 

" Fungi, however, were used for food. The native truffle, — ' My- 
iitta Australis,' — a subterranean fungus, — was much sought after by 
the natives. When cut, it is in appearance somewhat like unbaked 
brown bread. I have seen large pieces, weighing several pounds, and, 
in some localities, occasionally a fungus weighing fifty pounds is 
found." — ("Aborigines of Victoria," A. Brough Smyth, London, 1878, 
voL i. p. 209.) 

" Mushrooms, called by the Chinese ' stones' ears,' are gathered by 
some for the table, and form a part of the vegetable diet of the 
pi'iests.''— (Chinese Repository, Canton, 1835, vol. iii. p. 462.) 

But why the diet of priests particularly ? May there net be some 
mythical precept involved ? 

(Monbottoes of Africa.) " Mushrooms are also in common use for 



the preparation of their sauces." — (Schweiufurth's "Heart of Africa," 
London, 1878, vol. ii. p. 42.) 

"There is a great variety of mushrooms, most of which are eat. 
Some, indeed, are poisonous, and unlucky accidents happen fre- 
quently." — (Kemper, "History of Japan," in " Pinkerton's Voyages," 
London, 1814, vol. vii. p. 698.) 

A. Brough Smyth, "Aborigines of Australia," p. 132, speaks of the 
use by the Australians of " a dry, white species of fungus, to kindle 
fire with rapidly." 

Agaric. " It groweth in Fraunce, principally upon trees that bear 
mast, in manner of a white mushroom ; of a sweet savour ; very eftec- 
tual in Physicke and used in many Antidotes and sovereigne confec- 
tions. It groweth upon the head and top of trees, it shineth in the 
night, and by the light that it giveth in the dark men know when and 
how to gather it." — (Pliny, lib. xvi. cap. 8, Holland's translation.) 

" On mange generalement en Eussie toutes les especes de cham 
pignons ; " but the " champignon de mouche," and two other kinds, are 
excepted. — (See "Voyages," Pallas, Paris, 1793, vol. i. p. 65.) 

" The Ostiaks of Siberia make a ' moxa ' of ' un morceau d'agaric du 
bouleau.' " — (Idem, vol. iv. p. 68.) 

Bogle enumerates mushrooms among the articles of diet of the 
Lamas. — (See Markham's "Thibet," London, 1879, p. 105.) 

" Mushrooms and fungi of all kinds are eaten by the Bongo of the 
Upper Nile region." — (See " Heart of Africa," Schweinfurth, London, 
1878, vol. i. pp. 117-122.) 

"The Niam-Niams of Central Africa use fungi for foods." — (Idem, 
p. 281.) 

In a synopsis of the lecture delivered by the explorer Stanley before 
the Royal Geographical Society in London, he is represented as re- 
ferring to the skill of the Niam-Niam in woodcraft, and the ability 
with which they detected the edible fungi from the poisonous. — (See 
"Tribune," Chicago, 111., June 28, 1890.) 

Agaric. Avicenna believed that the white, or "feminine," was 
good, the black, or " masculine," noxious ; it was prescribed for epi- 
lepsy, fevers, sciatica, asthma, pulmonary troubles, etc. (Avicenna, 
vol. i. p. 278, improperly numbered in the book as p. 287, a 10, et seq.) 
It also entered into a number of panaceas, such as " Theriaca," " Theo- 
doricon Magnum," " Mithradatum," and others. 

It was a provocative of the menses, according to Avicenna, vol. i. 
p. 287, a 54 


Thurnberg mentions a plant — " Bupleorum giganteum " — found in 
Cape Colony, of which clothing was made, and which was also used 
for tinder, — (See Pinkerton's Voyages, London, 1814, vol. xvi. pp. 21, 
22, quoting Thurnberg's " Account of the Cape of Good Hope.") 

"Toadstool, or rotten fish and willow bark, which are delicacies 
among the Karatchadals," — ("Russian Discoveries between Asia and 
America,'' William Coxe, London, 1803, p. 60, quoting Steller's 
account of the Behring Voyage.) 

There are some varieties of agaric, notably that of the olive-tree, 
which at times emit by night a phosphorescent light. This peculiarity 
may well have caused them to be regarded with reverential awe by the 
ancients. On the subject of this effulgence, see " Philosophy of 
Magic," Eusebe Salverte, New York, 1862, vol. i. p. 63. 

Pope Clement VII. died of eating too many mushrooms. See Schu- 
rig's "Chylologia," Dresden, 1725, vol. i. p. 60. 

(Tierra del Fuego.) "There is one vegetable production in this 
country which is worthy of mention, as it affords a staple article of 
food to the natives. It is a globular fungus, of a bright yellow color, 
and of about the size of a small apple, which adheres in vast numbers 
to the bark of the beech-trees. ... It is eaten by the Fuegians in 
large quantities, uncooked, and when well chewed has a mucilaginous 
and slightly sweet taste, together with a faint odor like that of a 
mushroom. Excepting a few berries of a dwarf arbutus, which need 
hardly be taken into account, these poor savages never eat any other 
vegetable food besides this fungus." — (Darwin, in " Voyage of Ad- 
venture and Beagle," London, 1839, vol. iii. pp. 298, 299.) 

" These Fuegians appeared to think the excrescences which grow on 
the birch-trees, like the gall-nuts on an oak, an estimable dainty." — 
(Idem, vol. i. p. 440 ; again, vol. ii. p. 185.) 

Agaric, or toadstool, employed in medicine " to provoke to vomit " 
(see "Most Excellent and Approved Medicines," London, 1654, pp. 3 
and 10) ; also given "for provoking the courses " (idem, p. 23) ; also 
"to loosen the body" (idem, p. 36). 

To insure conception, the belief was that both man and woman 
should take a potion of hare's rennet in wine, — "then quickly she 
will be pregnant, and for meat she shall for some while eat mush- 
rooms." — (" Saxon Leechdoms," vol. i. p. 347-) 

The Bannocks and Shoshonees of the Rocky Mountains eat mush- 
rooms, — " the kind that grows on a Cottonwood stump ; they know 


that some kinds are bad." — (Interview with the Bannocks and Sho- 
shonees, through the interpreters, Joe and Charlie Raiuey, at Fort 
Hall, Idaho, 1881. 

The Indians above mentioned had no knowledge of any dance in 
connection with the mushroom or fungus. 




T"N the opinion of the folk of Great Britain and Ireland, possibly of 
'~ the Continent as well, the mushroom was intimately connected 
with the dwellers in the realm of sprites and fairies, as can be shown 
' in a moment, and by simple reference. 

The lore of the peasantry of those countries is replete with the 
uncanniness of the "Fairy Circles," which modem investigation has 
shown to be due to a species of fungus. 

" Various theories were current among the peasantry to account for 
their existence. Some of them ascribed them to lightning ; others to 
moles or other animals ; and others again to the growth of a species 
of fungus. This is the more educated class. But the lower orders 
implicitly believed that they were the work of the fairies, and used by 
them for their nocturnal dancing. Woe to the poor mortal who ven- 
tured near at such moments. He was seized, forced to dance, soon 
lost all consciousness, and was truly in luck if he ever again suc- 
ceeded in rejoining his mortal relatives," A very exhaustive account of 
these Circles, and the superstitions in reference to thero, is to be 
found in the third volume of Brand's Popular Antiquities, London, 
•1854, article "Fairy Mythology," p. 476 et seq. 

"The most clear and satisfactory remarks on the origin of fairy 
rings are probably those of Dr. Wollaston, Sec. R. S., printed in the 
second part of the "Philosophical Transactions " for 1807. . . . The 
cause of their appearance he ascribes to the growth of cei*tain species 
of agaric, which so entirely absorbs all nutriment from the soil beneath 
that the herbage is for a while destroyed." — (Idem, p. 483.) 

" In Northumberland, the common people call a certain fungous 
excrescence, sometimes found about the roots of old trees, Fairy But- 
ter. After great rains, and in a certain degree of putrefaction, it is 
reduced to a consistency which, together with its color, makes it not 
unlike butter, and hence the name." — (Idem, p. 493.) 


Lady "Wilde's work, already quoted, makes no reference to the 
employment of either mushrooms or misletoe by the Irish peasantry. 

The mixing, in the popular imagination, of Fairies aud Druids, of 
Fairy Circles and the Druid Circles, is noticed on p. 505, Brand, art. 
" Fairy Mythology." 

Perhaps in all this there may be a vague reminiscence of a former 
use of the agaric in potions not very dissimilar to those still to be 
found among the Koraks and Tchuktchi. We read that this Witches' 
Butter was associated with sorcery. It was believed in Sweden to 
have been " spewed up " by the cat which went with the witch. — (See 
Brand, " Popular Antiquities," London, 1872, vol. iii. p. 7, article 

" Ko subject could be more interesting than an inquiry into the 
origin of the superstitions of uncivilized tribes." (" Philosophy of 
Magic," Salverte, vol. i. p. 138.) Salverte remarks that the Fairies 
" were supposed to be diminutive, aerial beings, beautiful, lively, 
and beneficent in their intercourse with mortals, inhabiting a region 
called Fairy Land, — Alf-Heiner, — commonly appearing on earth 
at intervals, when they left traces of their visits in beautiful green 
rings, where the dewy sward had been trodden in their moon-light 
dances. . . . The investigations of science have traced these rings 
to a species of fungus, — Agaricus oreades, — but imagination still 
leads us willingly back to the traditional appearance of these dimin- 
utive beings in the train of their queen ; . . . and we also behold her 
tiny followers dancing away the midnight hours to the sound of the 
most enchanting music." — (Idem, vol. i. p. 138, footnote.) 

There is the following memorandum in Hazlitt's "Fairy Tales" 
(London, 1875, p. 35) : " Mem., that pigeon's-dung and nitre steeped 
in water will make the fayry circles ; it draws to it the nitre of the 
air, and it will never vreare out." 

" The mushroom has always been associated with fairy-lore. It is 
mentioned as the fairy diuing-table (p. 502) ; while in the list of foods 
partaken of by Oberon, we read : — 

"... with a wine, 
"Ne'er ravished with a clustered vine, 
But gently strained from the side 
Of a sweet and dainty bride ; 
Brought in a daizy chalice, which 
He fully quaffed up to bewitch 
His blood to height." 


While Kobiu Goodfellow is represented as singing, — 

"When lads and lasses merry be, 
With possets and with jnncates fine, 
Unseene of all the company, 
I cat their cakes and sip their wine ; 
And to make sport, 
I fart and snort, 
And out the candles I do blow." 

— (Brand, Pop. Ant, London, 1872, pp. 476 et seq., articles " Fairy My- 
thology," and « Eobin Goodfellow.") 

Herrick describes the food of fairies : — 

"... with a wine 
Ne'er ravished from the flattering vine, 
But gentle prest from the soft side 
Of the most sweet and dainty bride." 

— (Herrick, " Hesperides ; " also quoted in Hazlitt's "Fairy Tales," 
London, 1875, p. 300.) 

The "wine" just described would seem to belong, in all fairness, to 
the classification of Ur-Orgies. 

A careful search of Shakspeare shows that while perhaps he knew 
little directly to our purpose, he still had a knowledge that we may 
utilize; for example, he speaks of the "midnight mushroom," showing 
that it was an element of midnight revels of the fairies; he alludes to 
customs which certainly suggest that slaves and criminals were in 
early days buried beneath dung-heaps as a punishment ; and he can 
be adduced to prove that the epithet "dunghill" applied to a man, 
was a most deadly insult; but let the bard speak for himself, — 

" Prospcro. Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves ; 
And ye that on the sands with printless feet, 
Do chase the ebbing Neptune and do fly him, 
When he comes back ; you demi-puppets that 
By moonshine do the green, sour ringlets make, 
Whereof the ewe bites not ; and you whose pastime 
Is to make midnight mushrooms." — (Tempest, act v. scene 1.) 

*' yfjax. Thou stool for a witch." — (Troilns and Cressida, act ii. scene 1.) 

The concordance consulted was that of the Clarkes. 

The association of " toadstools " with witchcraft may have been due 
to the belief that toads were the constant companions and servants of 
the witches and fairies. 


Gesner says that witches made use of toads as a charm, " ut vim 
coeundi, ni fallor, in viris tollerunt." — (Brand, Pop. Ant. London, 
1872, vol. ii. page 170, art. "Divination at Weddings.") 

" Un crapaud noir de venin " was to be employed by those seeking 
favor of the witches of " Les Bourbonnais," "La Fascination." — (J. 
Tuchmann, in " Mclusine," Paris, July, August, 1890.) 

May dew was considered a most beneficial application for the skin, 
but young maidens while gathering it were careful not " to put foot 
within the rings, lest they should be liable to the fairies' power." — 
(" Illustrations of Shakspeare," Francis Douce, London, 1807, vol. i. 
p. 180.) 

It would seem that the Saxons in England, at the time of the Nor- 
man Conquest, were fully aware of the deadly effects producil)le by the 
mushroom : "The old woman came back to her, ere she went to bed. 
* I have found it all out and more. I know where to get scarlet toad- 
stools and I put the juice in his men's ale. They are laughing and 
roaring now, merry-mad every one of them.' " 

The effects of the potion are thus described : " His men were grouped 
outside of the gate, chattering like monkej'S ; the porter and the monks 
from the inside entreating them, vainly, to come in and go to bed 

" But they would not. They vowed and swore that a great gulf 
had opened all down the road, and that one step more .would tumble 
them in headlong. ... In vain Hereward stormed ; assured them 
that the supposed abyss was nothing but the gutter; proved the fact 
by kicking Martin over it. The men determined to believe their own 
eyes, and after a while fell asleep in heaps in the roadside, and lay 
there till morning, when they woke, declaring, as did the monks, that 
they had been bewitched. They knew not — and happily, the lower 
orders, both in England and on the Continent, do not yet know — the 
potent virtues of that strange fungus with which Lapps and Samoieds 
have, it is said, practised wonders for centuries past." — (" Hereward, 
the last of the English," Charles Kingsley, New York, 18G6, p. 111.) 

See also under " Ordeals and Punishments," and " Insults." 





T~^HAT some such use of poisonous fungi as has been shown exists 
-^ among the tribes of Siberia was made by other nations, would be 
difl&cult to prove in the absence of direct testimony, but many inci- 
dental references are encountered which the reflective mind must 
consider with care before rejecting them as absolutely irrelevant in this 
connection. The Mexicans, as we learn from Sahagun, were not igno- 
rant of the mushroom, which is described as the basis of one of their 
festivals. He says that they ate the nanacatl, a poisonous fungus 
which intoxicated as much as wine ; after eating it, they assembled in 
a plain, where they danced and sang by night and by day to their 
fullest desire. This was on the first day, because on the following day 
they all wept bitterly, and they said that they were cleaning them- 
selves arid washing their eyes and faces with their tears.^ 

It is true that Sahagun does not describe any specially revolting 
feature in this orgy, but it is equally patent that he is describing from 
hearsay, and, probably, he was not allowed to know too much. In a 
second reference to this fungus, which he now calls teo-nanacatl, 
he alludes to the toxic properties, which coincide closely with those 
of the mushrooms noted in Siberia and on the northwest coast of 

" There are some mushrooms in this country which are called teo- 
nanacatl. They grow under the gi'ass in the fields and plains ; . . . 
they are hurtful to the throat and intoxicate ; . . . those who eat 

* Nanacatl, que son los hongos malos que emborrachan tan bien como el vino ; 
y se juntaban en i;n llano despues de haberlo comido, donde bailaban y cantaban 
de noche y de dia a su placer ; y esto el primer dia porque al dia sigiiiente Uoraban 
todos mucho y decian que se limpiaban y lavaban los ojos y caras con sus Idgrimas. 
— (Sahagun, in Kingsborough's "Mexican Antiquities," vol. vii. p. 308.) 


them see visions and feel flutterings in the heart; those who eat many 
of them are excited to lust, and even so if they eat but few." ^ 

The proof is not at all conclusive that this intoxication was produced 
as among the Siberian and Cape Flattery tribes ; but it is very odd 
that the Aztecs should eat mushrooms for the same purpose ; that they 
should hold their dance out in a plain and by night (that is, in a place 
as remote as possible from Father Sahagun's inspection). On the sec- 
ond day, to trust Sahagun's explanation, they would appear to have 
bewailed their behavior on the first ; although it should be remarked 
here that ceremonial weeping has not been unknown to the American 
aborigines, and may, in this case, have been induced by causes not 
revealed to the stranger. Lastly, it is important to note that this 
poisonous fungus was a violent excitant, a nervous irritant, and an 

Another early Spanish observer, also cited by Kingsborough, de- 
scribes them in these terms : — 

"They had another kind of drunkenness, , . . which was with small 
fungi or mushrooms, . . . which are eaten raw, and, on account of 
being bitter, they drink after them or eat with them a little honey of 
bees, and shortly after that they see a thousand visions, especially 

"They went raving mad, running about the streets in a wild state 
('bestial embriaguez '). They called these fungi * teo-na-m-catl,' a 
word meaning * bread of the gods.' " 

This author does not allude to any effect upon the kidneys.* 

This account can be compared, word for word, with those previously 
quoted from the Moqui Indian and from the descriptions of the Ur- 
Orgies of the Siberians. 

* Hay linos honguillos en esta tierra que se llaraan teo-nanacatl ; crianse debajo 
del heno en los campos 6 paramos . . . daiian la garganta y emborrachan . . . los 
que los comen ven visiones y sienten buscas en el corazon ; a los que comen muchos 
de ellos provocan a luxuria, y aunque sean pocos. — (Sahagun, in Kingsborougli's 
"Mexican Antiquities," voL vii. p. 369.) 

* Tenian otra manera de embriaguez . . . era con unos bongos 6 .setas pequeftas 
. . . que comidos crudos y por ser amargos, beben tras ellos 6 comen con ellos uu 
poco de miel de abejas, y de alii d poco rato, veian mil visiones y en especial culc- 
bras. — ( By the author of ' ' Kitos Antiguos, Sacrificios e idolatrias de los Indios en 
Nueva Espafta," Kingsborough, vol. ix. p. 17.) 

This author seems to have been the Franciscan Fray Toribio de Benvento, com- 
monly called by his Aztec nickname of " Motolinia, the Beggar." He is designated 
by Kingsborough "the Unknown Franciscan," because, through motives of humil- 
ity, he declined to subscribe his name to liis valuable writings. 


The list of quotations is not yet complete. Tezozomoc, also an 
author of repute, relates that at tlie coronation of Montezuma the 
Mexicans gave wild mushrooms to the strangers to eat ; that the 
strangers became drunk, and thereupon began to dance.^ All of which 
is a terse description of a drunken orgy induced by poisonous mush- 
rooms, but not represented with the disgusting sequences which would 
have served to establish a connection with urine dances. 

Diego Duran also gives the particulars of the coronation of this Mon- 
tezuma (the second of the name and the one on the throne at the date 
of the arrival of Cortes). He says that, after the usual human sacri- 
fices had been offered up in the temples, all went to eat raw mushrooms, 
which caused them to lose their senses and affected them more than 
if they had drunk much wine. So utterly beside themselves were they 
that many of them killed themselves with their own hands, and by the 
potency of those mushrooms they saw visions and had revelations of 
the future, the devil speaking to them in their drunkenness.'^ Duran, 
of course, is not describing what he saw. Doubtless, in that case, his 
narrative would have been more animated and, possibly, more to our 


Dorman is authority for the statement that mushrooms were wor- 
shipped by the Indians of the Antilles, and toadstools by those in Vir- 
ginia,' but for what toxic or therapeutic qualities, real or supposed, he 
does not say. The toxic properties of fungi would seem to have been 
known to the Algonkins : — 

"Paused to rest beneath a pine tree, 
From whose branches trail the mosses, 
And whose trunk was coated over 
"With the Dead Man's Moccasin Leather, 
With the fungus white and yellow." 

" Hiawatha," Henry W. Longfellow, canto ix. 

1 A los estranjeros, le3 dieron & comer hongos montesinos que se embriagaban 
con ellos y con esto entrdron a la danza. — (Tezozomoc, " Cronica Mexicana," in 
Kingsborough, "Mexican Antiquities," vol. ix. p. 153.) 

2 Ivan todos a comer hongos crudos, con la cual comida salian todos de juicio y 
quedaban peores que si hubieran bebido mucho vino ; tan embriagados y fuera de 
sentido que muchos de ellos se mataban con propria mano ; y con la fuerza de 
aquellos hongos vian visiones y tenian rebelaciones de lo porvenir hablandoles el 
Demonio en aquella embriaguez. — (Diego Duran, lib. 2, cap. 54, p. 564. ) 

8 Rushton M. Dorman, " Primitive Superstitions," New York, 1881, p. 295. 



On the west shore of the Pacific Ocean, aside from the orgies of the 
Siberian Shamans, no instance is on record of the use of the mush- 
room, or other fungus in religious rites in the present day. 

A former use of it is indicated in the Cingalese myths, which teach 
that "Chance produced a species of mushroom called mattika^ or jessa- 
thon, on which they lived for sixty-five thousand years ; but being de- 
termined to make an equal division of this, also, they lost it. Luckily 
for them, another creeping plant [mistletoe ?] called badrilata grew up, 
on which they (the Brahmins) fed for thirty-five thousand years, but 
which they lost for the same reason as the former ones." — ("Asiatic 
Researches," Calcutta, 1807, vol. vii. p. 441.) 

Among the Brahmins of the main land no such myth is related ; but 
an English writer says : 

" The ancient Hindus held the fungus in such detestation that Yama, 
a legislator, supposed now to be the judge of departed spirits, declares: 
* Those who eat mushrooms, whether springing from the ground or 
growing on a tree, fully equal in guilt to the slayers of Brahmins and 
the most despicable of all deadly sinners." — ("Asiatic Researches," 
Calcutta, 1795, vol. iv. p. 311.) 

Dubois refers to the same subject. "The Brahmins," he says, 

"have also retrenched from their vegetable food, which is the great 

-fund of their subsistence, all roots which form a head or bulb in the 

ground, such as onions,'^ and those also which assume the same shape 

above ground, like muslirooms and some others. . . . Are we to sup- 

^ The word "mattika" cannot be found in Forbes' English-Hisdnstani Diction- 
ary (London, 1848). It may, perhaps, belong to an extinct dialect. The word 
" matt," meaning "drunk," would serve a good purpose for this article could a rela- 
tionship be shown to exist between it and " mattika." This the author is of course 
unable to do, being totally ignorant of Hindustani. Neither does "badrilata" 
■occur in Forbes, who interprets " mistletoe" as "banda." The contributor to the 
Asiatic Researches, who used the word, thought it meant "agaric." 

2 Higgius believes that the ancient Egyptians had discovered a similarity between 
the coats of an onion and the planetary spheres, and says that " it was called (by the 
Greeks), from being sacred to the father of ages, oionoon — onion. • . . The onion 
was adored (as the black stone in Westminster Abbey is by us) by the Egyptians 
for this property as a type of the eternal renewal of ages. . . . The onion is adored 
in India, and forbidden to be eaten." — (Quoting "Forster's Sketches of Hindoos," 
p. 35. Higgins' "Anacalypsis," vol. ii. p. 427.) 


pose that they had discovered something unwholesome in the one 
species and proscribed the other on account of its fetid smell 1 This I 
cannot decide ; all the information I have ever obtained from those 
among those whom I have consulted on the Reasons of their abstinence 
from them being that it is customary to avoid such articles." — (Abbe 
Dubois, "People of India," London, 1817, p. 117.) 

This iuhibitiou, under such dire penalties, can have but one mean- 
ing. In primitive times the people of India must have been so ad- 
dicted to the debauchery induced by potions into the composition of 
which entered poisonous fungi and mistletoe (the mushroom " growing 
on a tree "), and the eflfects of such debauchery must have been found 
so debasing and pernicious, that the priest-rulers were compelled to 
employ the same maledictions which Moses proved of efficacy in with- 
drawing the children of Israel from the worship of idols.^ 

* But on the sixth day of the moon's age " women walk in the forests with a fan 
in one hand, and eat certain vegetables, in hope of beautiful children. See the 
account given by Pliny of the Druidical mistletoe or viscum, which was to be 
gathered when the moon was six days old, as a preservative from sterility." — (Sir 
AVilliam Jones in "Asiatic Researches," Calcutta, 1790, vol. iii. art. 12, p. 284, 
quoted by Edward Moor, " Hindu Pantheon," London, 1810, p. 134.) 




^"^HERE are examples of the ideas surrounding onions, leeks, garlic, 
-*- and bulbous vegetables of different kinds, in many countries. 

*' The Egyptians likened the whole firmament to an onion with its 
varied shells and radiations ; and this, together with the aphrodisiacal 
and fertilizing properties which this vegetable is almost universally 
held to possess, rendered it sacred." — (" Rivers of Life," Forlong, Lon- 
don, 1883, vol. i. p. 474.) 

"The species of onion which the Egyptians abhorred was the squill 
or red squill, because consecrated to Typhon ; the other kinds they ate 
indiscriminately." — (Fosbroke, " Cyclopaedia of Antiquities," London, 
1843, vol. ii. p. 109, article " Onion.") 

"At Babylon, beside Memphis, they made an onion their god." — 
(Reginald Scot, " Discovery of Witchcraft," London, 1651, p. 376.) 

" Beans the Egyptians do not sow at all in their country ; neither do 
they eat those that happen to grow there, nor taste them when dressed. 
The priests indeed abhor the sight of that pulse, accounting it impure." 
— (Herodotus, " Euterpe," p. 36.) 

Among the Romans, " the Flamen Dialis might not ride, or even 
touch, beans or ivy." — (" The Golden Bough," James G. Frazer, M.A., 
'London, 1890, vol. i. p. 117.) 

Pliny mentions the medicinal use of certain bulbs, difficult of denti- 
fication in our day. " The bulb of Msegara acts as a strong aphro- 
disiac ; " others " aid delivery ; " others were used " for the cure of the 
sting of serpents." The ancients used to give bulb-seeds " to per- 
sons afflicted with madness, in drink." — (Pliny, Nat. Hist. lib. 20, 
cap. 40.) 

Martial has the following : " XXXIV. Bulbs. If your wife is old 
and your members languid, bulbs can do no more for you than fill 
your belly " (edition of London, 1871). A footnote to the above 
says : '* To what particular bulb provocative effects were attributed is 


Acosta says of the Peruvians that before any of their great cere- 
monies, " to prepare themselves, all the people fasted two days, during 
which they did neyther company with their wives nor eate any meate 
with salt or garlicke, nor drink any chica." — (Acosta, " Historie of 
the Indies," edition of London, 1604, quoted by Lang, **Myth, Eitual, 
and Religion," London, 1887, vol. ii. p. 283.) 

According to Avicenna, garlic was a provocative of the menses (vol. i. 
p. 276 a 52). 

When a priest of the state religion of China is about to oflfer a sacri- 
fice he must abstain from cohabitation with his wives and "from eat- 
ing onions, leeks, or garlic." — ("Chinese Repository," Canton, 1835, 
vol. iii. p. 52.) 

Juvenal says of the Egyptians : " It is an impious act to break with 
the teeth a leek or an onion." — (Satire xv., Rev. Lewis Evans's 

By the Irish peasantry " garlic is planted in the thatch " to drive 
away fairies and witches. — (" Medical Mythology of Ireland," James 
Mooney, American Philosophical Society, 1887.) 

The Danes placed garlic in the cradle of the new-born child to avert 
the maleficence of witches. — (See Brand, " Popular Antiquities," vol. ii. 
p. 73, article " Groaning Cakes and Cheese.") 

In rustic England many good folk still believe that the house upon 
which grows the leek will never be struck by lightning. — (See Brand, 
" Popular Antiquities," vol. iii. p. 317, article "Rural Charms.") 

Speaking of the Russian dissenters, known as the Raskol, Heard 
says : " They carried their resistance into all the details of daily life ; 
as matters of conscience, they eschewed the use of tobacco, for ' the 
things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man' 
(Markvii. 15) ; of the potato, as being the fruit with which the serpent 
tempted Eve." — ("The Russian Church and Russian Dissent," Al- 
bert F. Heard, New York and Loudon, 1887, p. 19-t.) 

The quotation from the New Testament seems applicable to the sub- 
ject of urine dances, and the interdiction of the use of the potato may 
mean more than appears on the surface. 

Possibly, the intention in Russia was to wean the sectaries away 
from the use of bulbs or fungi not to the liking of the more thoughtful 
leaders of the new movement. 

" From the earliest times garlic has been an article of diet." — (En- 
cyclopaedia Britannica, mentioning Israelites, Egyptians, Greeks, and 


In the time of Shakspeare, " to smell of garlic was accounted a sign 
of vulgarity." — (Idem, referring to " Coriolanus," iv. 6, and "Meas- 
ure for Measure," iii. 2.) 

" Garlic was placed by the ancient Greeks on the piles of stones at 
cross-roads as a supper for Hecate." — (Idem.) 

" According to Pliny, garlic and onions were invoked as deities by 
the Egj'ptians at tlie taking of oaths. The inhabitants of Pelusium, in 
Lower Egypt, who worshipped the onion, are said to have held both 
it and garlic in aversion as food." — (Eucyc. Brit., article " Garlic") 

Garlic is " fastened to the caps of children, suspended from the 
sterns of vessels and from new houses, in the Levant, as, centuries ago, 
it was hung over the door in the more civilized parts of Europe." — 
("Superstitions of Scotland," John Graham Dalyell, Edinburgh, 1834, 
p. 219.) 

" The onion was among the earliest cultivated vegetables, and in 
Egj'pt was a sort of divinity." — (American Encyclopaedia, New York, 
1881, article " Onion.") 

"A phallic importance seems to have attached to the onion. Burton, 
in his 'Anatomy of Melancholy,' edition of 1660, p. 538, speaks of 
' cromnysmantia,* — a kind of divination with onions laid on the altar 
at Christmas Eve, practised by girls to know when they shall be mar- 
ried and how many husbands they shall have. This appears also to 
have been a German custom." — (Brand, " Popular Antiquities," vol. iii. 
pp. 356, 357.) 

Sir Thomas More wrote the following (the original is in Latin ; the 
translation is by Harington) : — 

" If leeks you leek, but do tlieir snn41 disleek, 
Eat onions, and you shall not smell the leek ; 
If you of onions would the scent expel, 
Eat garlic, that shall drown the onion's smell ; 
But against garlic's savour, at one word, 
I know but one receipt. What's that ? Go look." 

The last line is left untranslated ; in the original it reads, — 

" Aut nihil, aut tautum, toUere merda potest." 

(Harington, " Ajax," quoting Sir Thomas More.) 




^T^WO fundamental principles underlie the structure of primordial 
-^ religion, — Intoxication and Phallism. All perversion of the 
cerebral functions, whether temporary estrangement or permanent 
alienation, is classified as Obsession ; and the pranks and gibberish 
of the maniac or the idiot are solemnly treasured as outbursts of 

Where such temporary exaltation can be produced by an herb, bulb, 
liquid, or food, the knowledge of such excitant is kept as long as pos- 
sible from the laity ; and even after the general diffusion of a more en- 
lightened intelligence has broadened the mental horizon of the devotee, 
these narcotics and irritants are " sacred," and the frenzies they induce 
are " sacred " also. 

If the drug in question, whatever it be, possess the additional recom- 
mendation of acting upon the genito-urinary organs, and by arousing 
the sexual energies appeals to the phallic element in the religious 
nature, the apotheosis of the drug follows as a matjter of course, no 
matter under what expression or symbolism it may be veiled ; and as 
human nature feels the necessity of restraint upon the passions as well 
as a stimulus thereof, it follows that there are to be noted many cases 
in which a veneration is paid to plants and drugs which have just the 
opposite effect, — that is to say that where an aphrodisiac is held 
among the sacred essences or agents its counter or antagonist is held 
in almost equal esteem. 

Mushroom, mistletoe, rue, ivy, mandrake, hemp, opium, the stra- 
monium of the medicine-man of the Hualpai Indians of Arizona, — 
all may well be examined in the light of this proposition. Frazer 
says: " According to primitive notions, all abnormal states — such as 
intoxication or madness — are caused by the entrance of a spirit 
into the person ; such mental states, in other words, are regarded as 
forms of possession or inspiration." — (" The Golden Bough," vol. i. 
p. 184.) 



" Women who were addicted to Bacchanalian sports presently ran to 
the ivy and plucked it off, tearing it to pieces with their hands and 
gnawing it with their mouths. ... It was reported ... it hath a 
spirit that stirreth and moveth to madness, transporting and bereaving 
of the senses, and that alone by itself it introduceth drunkenness with- 
out wine to those that have an easy inclination to enthusiasm." — 
(Plutarch, " Morals," Goodwin's English translation, Boston, 1870, 
vol. ii. p. 264.) 

An eternal drunkenness was the reward held out to the savage warrior 
in many regions of the world ; the Scandinavians, as well as the Indians 
of the Pampas, had this belief. — (See " Les Primitifs," Elie Reclus, 
Paris, 1885, p. 123.) 

Speaking of the Ur-Orgy of the Siberians, Dr. J. W. Kingsley com- 
ments in the following terms : " I remember being shown this fungus 
by an Englishman who was returning via the Central Pacific Railway 
from Siberia. He fully confirmed all that I had heard on the subject, 
having seen the orgy himself. . . . Nothing religious in this, you may 
say ; but look at the question a little closer and you will see that these 
* intoxicants,' which nowadays are used to produce mere excitement 
or brutal drunkenness, were at first looked upon as media able to raise 
the mere man up to a level with his gods, and enable him to communi- 
cate with them, as was certainly the case with the * soma' of the Hindu 
ecstatics and the hashich I have seen used by some tribes of Arabs. 
It would be well worth while trying to ascertain whether the actors in 
the Ur-Orgy had eaten any particular kind of herb before its com- 
mencement, or whether they had any tradition of their ancestors hav- 
ing done so." — (Personal letter to Captain Bourke, dated Cambridge, 
England, May, 1888.) 

For sacred intoxication among the Finns, see also " Chaldean Magic," 
Lenormant, p. 255, where there is a reference to " intoxicating 




"DUT the question at once presents itself, For what reason did the 
"^ Celtic Druids employ the much venerated mistletoe 1 This 
question becomes of deep significance in the light of the learning shed 
by Godfrey Higgins and General Vallencey upon the derivation of the 
Druids from Buddhistic or Brahminical origin. 

" Ajasson enumerates the following superstitious of ancient Britain, 
as bearing probable marks of an Oriental origin : . . . the ceremonials 
used in cutting the plants." — ("Mistletoe," Pliny, Bohn, lib. 30, 
cap. 6, footnote.) 

That the mistletoe was regarded as a medicine, and a verj'^ potent 
one, is easy enough to show. All the encyclopaedias admit that much ; 
but the accounts that have been preserved of the ideas associated with 
this worship are not complete or satisfactory. 

" The mistletoe, which they (the Druids) called * all-heal,' used 
to cure disease." — (McClintock and Strong's Encyclopaedia, quoting 

" The British bards and Druids had an extraordinary veneration for 
the number three. * The mistletoe,' says Vallencey, in his * Grammar 
of the Irish Language,' ' was sacred to the Druids, because not only its 
berries, but its leaves also, grow in clusters of three united to one 
stock. The Christian Irish held the Seamroy sacred in like manner, 
because of three leaves united to one stock.' " — (Brand, " Popular An- 
tiquities," London, 1872, vol. i, p. 109, article " St. Patrick's Day.") 

" Within recent times the mistletoe has been regarded as a valuable 
remedy in epilepsy (query, on the principle of similia simtlibiis ?) and 
other diseases, but at present is not employed. . . . The leaves have 
been fed to sheep in time of scarcity of other forage (which shows at 
least that it is edible)." — (Appleton's American Encyclopaedia.) 

" Seems to possess no decided medical properties." — (luternation^ 


" It is now perhaps impossible to account for the veneration in 
which it was held and the wonderful qualities which it was supposed 
to possess." — ("The Druids," Eev. Pdchard Smiddy, Dublin, 1871, 
p. 90.) 

Pliny mentions three varieties. Of these "the hyphar is useful for 
fattening cattle, if they are hardy enough to withstand the purgative 
effect it produces at first ; the viscum is medicinally of value as an 
(jinoUient, and in cases of tumors, ulcers, and the like." 

Pliny is also quoted as saying that it was considered of benefit to 
women in childbirth, — "in conceptum feminarum adjuvare si omnino 
secum habeant." ^ Pliny is also authority for the reverence in which 
the mistletoe growing on the robur (Spanish rohle, or evergreen oak) 
was held by the Druids. The robur, he says, is their sacred tree, 
and whatever is found growing upon it, they regard as sent from 
heaven and as the mark of a tree chosen by God. — (Encyclopaedia 

Brand (" Popular Antiquities," London, 1849, vol. i. article "Mistle- 
toe") cites the opinion of various old authors that mistletoe was re- 
garded "as a medicine very likely to subdue not only the epilepsy, 
but all other convulsive disorders. . . . The high veneration in which 
the Druids were held by the people of all ranks proceeded in a great 
measure from the wonderful cures they wrought by means of the mis- 
tletoe of the oak. . . . The mistletoe of the oak, which is very rare, is 
vulgarly said to be a cure for wind-ruptures in children ; the kind 
which is found upon the apple is said to be good for fits." 

" The Persians and Masagetse thought the mistletoe something 
divine, as well as the Druids." — ("Antiquities of Cornwall," 1796, 
p. G3.) 

After telling of the use of this plant among the Druids and their 
mode of gathering it, Fosbroke adds : " Mistletoe was not unknown in 
the religious ceremonies of the ancients, and was supposed to have 
magical and medicinal properties." — Fosbroke, Cyclopsedia of Antiqui- 
ties, vol. ii. p. 1047, article "Mistletoe," London, 1843. 

Mr. W. Winwood Reade mentions, in his " Veil of Isis " (London, 
1861), at page 69, that the missolding or mistletoe of the oak, still 
called in Wales " all-iach," or " all-heal," was the sovereign remedy of 
the Druids; and at page 71 he adds that a powder from its berries was 

^ As has already been shown on page 93, the sacrificial mistletoe was gathered by 
the Druids when the niooa was six days old, that day being the first of the month, 
year, and cycle among the Druids. 


considered a cure for sterility. He describes the effect of mistletoe 
as that of a strong purgative. — (Personal letter from Frank Kedc 
Fowke, Esq., South Keusiugton Museum, London, England, June 18, 

"The Druids named it Uil-loc or Ail-Heal, because they said it pro- 
moted increase of species or prevented sterility." — (" Kivers of Life," 
Forlong, vol. ii. p. 331.) 

" We shall probably never hear the whole truth in regard to this an- 
cient religion (Druidism) ; for, as Mr. Davies says, 'most of the offen- 
sive ceremonies must have been either retrenched or concealed,' as the 
Roman laws and edicts had for ages (before the Bardic writings) re- 
strained the more cruel and bloody sacrifices, and at the time of the 
Bards nothing remained but symbolic rites." — (" Rivers of Life," 
Forlong, vol. ii. p. 33 L) 

The plant (mistletoe) is one of world-wide fame. Masagsetae, Sky- 
thians, and the most ancient Persians called it the " Healer," and Vir- 
gil calls it a " branch of gold ; " while Charon was dumb in presence of 
such an augur of coming bliss; it was "the expectancy of all nations, 
longe post tempore visum, as betokening Sol's return to earth." — 
("Rivers of Life," Forlong, vol. i. p. 81.) 

Borlase sees much similarity between the Magi and our Druids, and 
Strabo did the same. " Both carried in their hands, during the cele- 
bration of their rites, a bunch of plants ; that of the Magi was of course 
the Hom, called Barsom, — Assyrian and Persepolis sculptures substan- 
tiate this. The Hom looks very much like the Mistletoe, and the 
learned Dr. Stukeley thinks that this parasite is meant as being on 
the tree mentioned by Isaiah, vi. 13." — ("Rivers of Life," Forlong, 
vol. i. p. 43.) 

" But yet it shall be a tenth, and it shall return and shall be eaten ; 
as a teil tree and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they 
cast their leaves; so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof" — 
(Isaiah, vi. 13.) 

" The mistletoe wreath marks in one sense Venus's temple, for any 
girl may be kissed if caught under its sprays, — a practice, though 
modified, which recalls to us that horrid one mentioned by Herodotus, 
where all women were for once at least the property of the man who 
sought them in Mylitta's temple." — ("Rivers of Life," Forlong, Lon- 
don, 1883, vol. i. p. 91.) 

The following are Frazer's views on this subject: ''The mistletoe 
was viewed as the seat of life of the oak. The conception of the mistle- 


toe as the seat of life of the oak would naturally be suggested to primi- 
tive people by the observation that while tlie oak is deciduous, the 
mistletoe which grows on it is evergreen. In winter, the sight of its 
fresh foliage among the bare branches must have been hailed by the 
worshippers of the tree as a sign that the divine life which had ceased 
to animate the branches yet survived in the mistletoe, as the heart of 
the sleeper still beats when h4s body is motionless. Hence, when the 
jj;od had to be killed, when the sacred tree had to be burnt, it was 
necessary to begin by breaking off the mistletoe, for so long as the 
mistletoe remained intact, the oak (so people thought) was invulner- 
able, — all the blows of their knives and axes would glance harmless 
from its surface. But once tear from the oak its sacred heart, the 
mistletoe, and the tree nodded to its fall." — (" The Golden Bough," 
James G. Frazer, M. A., London, 1890, vol. ii. pp, 295, 296.) 

This train of reasoning would be irrefutable, as it is most logical, 
were we in a position to be able to say that the excision of the fungus 
was followed by the felling of the tree; but, unfortunately, that is 
just what we are not able to determine. As a surmise, there is no 
impropriety in believing that such excision may have marked the oak 
for destruction at some future day ; but there is no authority that we 
can produce at this time to justify anything more than a surmise in 
the premises. That the sacred character of the oak was due to the 
properties discovered in the mistletoe is quite likely in view of all the 
facts already presented. 

O'Curry, who appears to have known all that was to be learned on 
the subject of Druidism, admits that the world is in possession of very 
little that is reliable ; he inclines to the view that Druidism was of 
Eastern origin. (See " Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish," 
Eugene O'Curry, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, and New York, 1873.) 
He contends that " the Sacred Wand " of the Druids was made of the 
yew, and not of the oak or mistletoe. — (Idem, vol. ii. p. 194.) 

Yallencey did not believe that the Persians were acquainted with 
the mistletoe ; at least, he could not find any name for it in Persian. 
— (See Major Charles Yallencey, " Collectanea de Eebus Hibeniicis," 
Dublin, 1774, vol. ii. p. 433.) 

" In Cambodia, when a man perceives a certain parasitic plant grow- 
ing on a tamarind-tree, he dresses in white and taking a new earthen 
pot climbs the tree at mid-day. He puts the plant in the pot and lets 
the whole fall to the ground. Then in the pot he makes a decoction 
which renders him invulnerable." — (Aymonier, "Notes sur les Cou- 


tiimes, etc., des Cambodgiens," quoted in " The Golden Bough," vol. ii. 
p. 286, footnote.) 

" It was that only which is found upon the oak which the Druids; 
employed ; and being a parasitic plant, the seeds of which are not sown 
by the hand of man, it was well adapted for the purposes of supersti- 
tion." — (" Philosophy of Magic," Salverte, vol. i. p. 229.) 

Much testimony may be adduced to show that the mistletoe was 
valued as an aphrodisiac, as conducive to fertility, as sacred to love, 
and, iu general terms, an excitant of the genito-uriuary organs, which 
is the very purpose for which the Siberian and North American medi- 
cine-men employed the fungus, and perhaps the very reason for which 
both fungus and mistletoe were excluded from the Brahminical 

Brand shows that mistletoe " was not unknown in the religious 
ceremonies of the ancients, particularly the Greeks," and that the use 
of it, savoring strongly of Druidism, prevailed at the Christmas service 
of York Cathedral down to our own day. — (See in Brand, " Popular 
Antiquities," London, 1849, vol. i. p. 524.) 

The merry pastime of kissing pretty girls under the Christmas 
mistletoe seems to have a phallic derivation. " This very old custom 
has descended from feudal times, but its real origin and significance 
are lost." (** Appleton's American Encyclopaedia.") Brand shows that 
the young men observed the custom of " plucking off a beiry at each 
kiss." (Vol. i. p. 524.) Perhaps, in former times, they were required 
to swallow the berry. The deductions of a recent writer merit 
attention : — 

"The mistletoe was dedicated to Mylitta, in whose worship every 
woman must once in her life submit to the sexual embrace of a stranger. 
When she concluded to perform this religious duty in honor of her 
acknowledged deity, she repaired to the temple and placed herself 
under the mistletoe, thus offering herself to the first stranger who 
solicited her favors. The modem modification of the ceremony is found 
in the practice among some people of hanging the mistletoe, at certain 
seasons of the year, in the parlor or over the door, when the woman 
entering that door, or found standing under the wreath, must kiss the 
first man who approaches her and solicits the privilege." (" Phallic 
Worship," Robert Allen Campbell, C. E., St. Louis, Mo., 1888, p. 202.) 

A writer in " Notes and Queries " (Jan. 3, 1852, vol. v. p. 13) quotes 
Nares to the effect that "the maid who was not kissed under it at 
Christmas would not be married iu that year." But another writer 


(Feb. 28, 1852, same volume) points out that " we should refer the 
custom to the Scandinaviau mythology, wherein the mistletoe is dedi- 
cated to Friga, the Venus of the Scandinavians." ^ 

Grimm speaks of Paltar (Balder) being killed by the stroke of a 
piece of mistletine, but ventures upon no explanation. — ("Teutonic 
Mytholog}-," vol. i. p. 220, article " Paltar.") 

" Within the sanctuary at Nemi grew a certain tree of which no 
branch might be broken. Only a runaway slave was allowed to 
break off, if he could, one of its boughs. Success in the attempt enti- 
tled him to fight the priest in single combat, and if he slew him he 
reigned in his stead with the title of King of the "Wood (Rex Nemoren- 
sis.) Tradition averred that the fatal branch was that 'golden bough' 
which at the Sibyl's bidding, ^neas plucked before he essayed the 
perilous journey to the world of the dead." — (" The Golden Bough," 
Frazer, vol. i. p. 4, article "The Arician Grove,") 

" A plant associated with the death of one of their greatest and 
best-beloved gods must have been supremely sacred to all of Teutonic 
blood ; and yet this opinion of its sacredness was shared by the Celtic 
nations." (Grimm, "Teutonic Mythology," vol. iii. p. 1205.) "Our 
herbals divide mistletoe into those of the oak, hazel, and pear tree ; 
and none of them must be let touch the ground." — (Idem, p. 1207.) 

Another writer (" Notes and Queries," 2d series, vol. iv. p. 506) says : 
"As it was supposed to possess the mystic power of giving fertility and 
a power to preserve from poison, the pleasant ceremony of kissing under 
the mistletoe may have some reference to this belief." 

In vol. iii. p. 343, it is stated : " A AVorcestershire farmer was accus- 
tomed to take down his bough of mistletoe and give it to the cow that 
calved first after New Year's Day. This was supposed to insure 
good luck to the whole dairy. Cows, it may be remarked, as well as 
sheep, will devour mistletoe with avidity." 

And still another (in 2d series, vol. vi. p. 523) recognizes that "the 
mistletoe was sacred to the heathen Goddess of Beauty," and "it is cer- 
tain that the mistletoe, though it formerly had a place among the 
evergreens employed in the Christian decorations, was subsequently 
excluded." This exclusion he accounts for thus : " It is also certain 
that, in the earlier ages of the church, many festivities not at all tend- 
ing to edification (the practice of mutual kissing among the rest) had 

1 It was the only plant in the woihl which could harm Baldur, the son of Odin 
and Frif^a. When a branch of it struck him he fell dead. — (See in " Bulfinch's 
Mythology," revised by Rev. E. E. Hale, Boston, 1883, p. 428.) 


gradually crept in and established themselves, so that, at a certain 
part of the service, 'statim clerus, ipseque populus per basia blande 
sese invicim oscularetur.' " 

This author cites Hone, Hook, Moroni, Bescherelle, Ducange, and 
others. Finally (in the 3d series, vol. vii. p. 76), an inquirer asks, " How 
came it in Shakspeare's time to be considered ' baleful,' and, in our 
days, the most mirth-provoking of plants 1 " And still another corre- 
spondent, in the same series (vol. vii. p. 237), claims that "mistletoe 
will produce abortion in the female of the deer or dog." 

" Sir John Ollbach, in his dissertation concerning mistletoe, which he 
strongly recommends as a medicine very likely to subdue not only the 
epilepsy, but all other convulsive disorders, observes that this beauti- 
ful plant must have been designed by the Almighty for other and more 
noble purposes than barely to feed thrushes or to be hung up supersti- 
tiously in houses to drive away evil spirits. He tells (p. 12) that 
* the high veneration in which the Druids were anciently held by the 
people of all ranks proceeded in a great measure from the wonderful 
cures they wrought by means of the mistletoe of the oak ; this tree 
being sacred to them, but none so that had not the mistletoe upon 
them.' Mr. F. "Williams, dating from Pembroke, Jan. 28, 1791, tells 
lis, in the ' Gentleman's Magazine ' for February that year, that 
'"Guidhel," mistletoe, a magical shrub, appeared to be the forbidden 
tree in the middle of the trees of Eden ; for, in the Edda, the mistle- 
toe is said to be Balder's death, who yet perished through blindness 
and a woman.'" — (Brand, "Popular Antiquities," London, 1872, 
vol. i. p. 519, article " Evergreen -decking at Christmas.") 


That an infusion or decoction of the plant was once in use may be 
gathered from the fact narrated by John Eliot Howard : " Water, in 
which the sacred mistletoe had been immersed, was given to or sprinkled 
upon the people." — (" The Druids and their Religion," John Eliot 
Howard, in "Transactions of Victoria Institute," vol. xiv. p. 118, quot- 
ing " Le gui de chene et les Druides," E. Magdaleine, Paris, 1877.) 

Montfixucon says of the Druids : " lis croient que les animaux 
steriles deviennent f^conds en buvant de I'eau degui." — (" L'antiquito 
Expliquee, Paris, 1722, tome 2, part 2, p. 436, quoting and translating 

" The misselto, or ' Uil-ice,' was required to be taken, if possible, 
from the Jovine tree when in its prime ; but it was rare to find it on 


any oak. If obtained from one about thirty-6ve years old, and taken 
in a potion, it conferred fertility on men, women, and children." — 
("Rivers of Life," Forlong, vol. ii. p. 355.) 

Eugene O'Curry speaks of the Irish Druids having a " drink of ob- 
livion," the composition of which has not, however, come down to us. 
(See "Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish," vol. ii. p, 198.) 
O'Curry calls this drink of oblivion a " Druidical charm," and a " Dru- 
idical incantation." — (Idem, vol. ii. p. 226.)^ 

See notes in this monograph on the Hindu Lingam. 


An American writer says that among the Mound-builders the mistle- 
toe was " the holiest and most rare of evergreens," and that when 
human sacrifices were offered to sun and moon the victim was covered 
with mistletoe, which was burnt as an incense. (Pidgeon, " Dee-coo- 
dah," N^ew York, 1853, p. 91 et seq.) Pidgeon claimed to receive his 
knowledge from Indians versed in the traditions and lore of their 

Mrs. Eastman presents a drawing of what may be taken as the altar 
of Haokah, the anti-natural god of the Sioux, in which is a representa- 
tion of a "large fungus that grows on trees" (query, mistletoe?), 
which, if eaten by an animal, will cause its death." 


That the Mexicans had a reverence for the mistletoe would seem to 
be assured. They had a mistletoe festival In October they cele- 
brated the festival of the Neypachtly, or bad eye, which was a plant 
growing on trees and hanging from them, gray with the dampness of 

^ benormant speaks of " certain enchanted drinks, . . . which doubtless con- 
tained medicinal drugs, as a cure for diseases." — ("Chaldean Magic," London, 
1877, p. 41.) 

2 See also Ellen Russell Emerson, " Indian Myths," Boston, 1884, p. 331, wherein 
Pidgeon is quoted. 

8 "Legends of the Sioux," Eastman, New York, 1849, p. 210. Readers inter- 
ested in the subject of Indian altars will find descriptions, with colored plates, in 
"The Snake Dance of the Moquis" (London and New York, 1884), by the author 
of this volume ; and in the elaborate monograph by Surgeon Washington Matthews, 
in the Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, "Washington, D. C, 1888. 


rain ; especially did it grow on the different kinds of oak.^ The in- 
formant says he can give no explanation of this festival. 


It may be interesting to detect vestiges of Druidical rites tena- 
ciously adhering to the altered life of modern civilization. 

In the department of Seine-et-Oise, twelve leagues from Paris (says 
a recent writer), when a child had a rupture (hernia) he was brought 
imder a certain oak, and some women, who no doubt earned a living 
in that trade, danced around the oak, muttering spell-words till the 
child was cured. — that is, dead. — ("Notes and Queries," 5th series, 
vol. vii. p. 163.) 

It has already been shown that the Druids ascribed this very medi- 
cal quality to the mistletoe of the oak. 

" In Brittany a festival for the mistletoe is still kept. . . . The 
people there call it ' touzon ar gros,' — ' the herb of the cross.' " — 
("Commonplace Book," Buckle, vol, ii. of his Works, p. 440, London, 

Mistletoe has been burned in England in love divinations. — (See 
Brand, " Popular Antiquities," London, 1872, vol. iii. p. 358, article 
" Divination by Flowers.") 

Frommann enumerates mistletoe among " Recentiorura ad fascinum 
remedia. . . . Viscum corylinum et tiliaceum " (hazel or filbert and 
linden trees). The genitalia of the bewitched person were anointed 
with an ointment prepared from the hazel mistletoe to untie "liga- 
tures." (See Frommann, " Tractatus de Facinatione," Nuremberg, 
1675, pp. 938, 957, 958, 965.) 

" We find that persons in Sweden who are afflicted with the falling 
sickness carry with them a knife having a handle of oak mistletoe, to 
ward off attacks. A piece of mistletoe hung round the neck would 
ward off other sicknesses. We have Culpepper's authority for say- 
ing * it is excellent good for the grief of the sinew, itch, sores, and 
tooth-ache, the biting of mad dogs, and venemous beasts, and that it 
purgeth choler very gently.' Grimm notes that it was with a branch 
of mistletoe that Balder was killed. . . . The Kadeir Taliasin says that 

* " Neypaclitly quiere decir ' mal ojo ; ' es una yerva que nace en los arboles y 
cuelga de ellos, parda con la humedad de las aguas, especialmente se cria en los en- 
cinales y robles." — (Diego Duran, vol. iii. cap. 16, p. 391^, manuscript copy in 
the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.) 


the mistletoe was one of the ingredients in the aiven a gwyhodeu, or 
water of inspiration, science, and immortality, which the goddess Kod 
prepared in her cauldron. Witches were thought to have no power to 
hurt those who bore mistletoe round their neck. Sir Thomas Browne 
speaks of the virtues of mistletoe in cases of epilepsy." — ("Folk- 
Medicine," Black, London, 1883, p. 196.) 

The same belief in Waters of Life, science, immortalitj', etc., seems 
to obtain among the Slav nations, who also speak in their myths of 
" the crazy weed," which may, perhaps, be classified with the weed of 
the Borgie well, which, as we have seen, " set a' the Camerslang fo'k 
wrang i' th' head." — (See " Myths and Folk-Tales of the Russians, 
Western Slavs, and Magyars," Jeremiah Curtin, Boston, Mass., 1890). 

The mistletoe, especially that from the linden and the oak, was enu- 
merated by Etmuller among the cures for epilepsy (" tiliaceum et 
quercinum ") ; others recommended that from the elder or willow. 
For the same disease, on the same page, " zibethum " was prescribed. 
(See Etmuller, "Opera Omnia," Lyons, 1690, vol. i. p. 198 : "Com- 
ment. Ludovic") 

The mistletoe of the juniper, gathered in the month of May, was 
good for eye-water. " Maio mense instar rausci adnascitur iuservit 
aquae ophthalmica)." — (Etmuller, vol. i. p. 84, " Schroderi Dilucidati 

Fungi of different kinds dried were used as styptics. — (Idem, p. 70.) 

The fungus of the oak was especially good for this purpose. — 
(Idem, p. 127.) 

The mistletoe of the oak was regarded as of special value in all 
uterine troubles, hemorrhages, suppression of the menses, etc. — (Idem, 
p. 127.) 

In the Myth of Kale-wala a young maiden is represented as becom- 
ing pregnant by eating a berry. (See " Myth, Ritual, and Religion," 
Andrew Lang, London, 1887, vol. ii. p. 179.) 

We may ask the question, what kind of a berry this was. Reference 
may also be had to what Lang has to say on the mythical conceptions 
alleged to have been induced by juniper and other berries. — (Idem, 
p. 180.) 

The " mistletoe of the oake " was administered internally against 
"epilepsie." — ("Most Excellent and Most Approved Remedies," Lon- 
don, 1654, p. 14.) 

"A ring made of mistletoe is esteemed in Sweden as an amulet. " — 
("Folk-Medicine," Black, p. 173.) 


In Murrayshire, Scotland, " at the full moon in March, the inhabitants 
cut withies of the mistletoe or ivy, make circles of them, keep them all 
the year, and pretend to cure hectics and other troubles with them." — 
(Drand, "Popular Antiquities," vol. iii. p. 151, article "Moon.") 

" In North Germany, where the old Teutonic cult still lingers, the 
villagers run about on Christmas, striking the doors and windows 
with hammers, and shouting,* Guthyl ! Guthyl ! ' — plainly the Druidi- 
cal name for mistletoe used by Pliny. In Holstein, the people call the 
mistletoe ' the branch of spectres ; ' . . . they think it cures fresh 
wounds and ensures success in hunting." Stukeley is quoted to show 
that the veneration for the plant prevailed at the Cathedral of York 
down to the most recent times. — (Encyclopaedia Metropolitana.) 

" Misseltoe of the oake drunk cureth certainly this disease " (epi- 
lepsy). — (" The Poor Man's Physician," John Moncrief, Edinburgh, 
1716, p. 71.) 

Still another writer reckons it a specific in epilepsy ; also in apo- 
plexy, vertigo, to prevent convulsions, and to assist children in teeth- 
ing, being worn round their necks. " We have accounts of strange 
superstitious customs used in gathering it, and that if they are not 
complied with it loses its virtue. This is by some conjectured to be 
the golden bough which ^Eneas made use of to introduce him to the 
Elysian regions, as is beautifully described in Virgil's sixth vEneid." — 
(" Complete English Dispensatory," John Quincy, M.D., London, 
1730, p. 134.) 

Culpepper wrote that the mistletoe, especially that growing upon 
the oak, was beneficial in the falling sickness, in apoplexy, and in 
palsy ; also as a preventive of witchcraft ; in the last-named case it 
should be worn about the neck. He did not seem to know anything 
of the origin of these ideas and practices. — (See Richard Culpepper, 
"The English Physician," London, 1765, p. 217.) 

Pomet, in his " History of Drugs," London, 1737, describes agaric 
as an excrescence " found on the larch, oak, etc. . . . The best agaric 
is that from the Levant ; " only that " which the antients used to call 
the female should be used in medicine." It was prescribed in " all 
distempers proceeding from gross humors and obstructions," — such as 
epilepsy, vertigo, mania, etc. ; and this partly on the sympathetic or 
similia similibus principle. 

In one of the preparations for epilepsy, said by Beckherius to have 
been recommended by Galen, occurs " Agaricus Viscus Querci." — (See 
Danielus Beckherius, " Medicus Microcosmus," London, 1660, p. 208.) 


** When found growing on the oak, the mistletoe represented man," 
— (Opinion of the French writer lieynaud, in his article " Druidism," 
quoted in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.) 

Notwithstanding this abundant proof, which might, if necessary, be 
swollen in volume, of the survival in domestic medicine, as well as in 
medical practice of a more pretentious character, of the use of the 
mistletoe, more particularly in cases of epilepsy, there is no instance of 
its employment noticed in " Saxon Leechdoms." 

The explanation may be found in the fact that that compilation was 
rather exponential of the knowledge still possessed by the monks of 
classical therapeutics than of the skill attained by the Saxons them- 
selves ; there are pages of quotations from Sextus Placitus and other 
authorities, bnt scarcely anything to show that the ideas of the Saxons 
themselves were represented. 


Other curious instances of survival present themselves in the lin- 
guistics of the subject. The French word " gui," meaning mistletoe, 
is not of Latin, but of Druidical derivation, and so the Spanish " agui- 
naldo," meaning Christmas or Xew Year's present, conserves the cr}', 
slightly altered, of the Druid priest to the " gui " at the opening of 
the new year. 

" Aguillanneuf, et plus clairement, 'an gui, I'an neuf,* ou bien 
encore, ' I'anguil I'an neuf ' " — (Le Roux de Lincy, Livre des Proverbes 
Fran9ais, 1848, Paris, tome 1, p. 2, quoted in Buckle's "Commonplace 
Book," vol. ii. p. 440.) 

"The next business was to arrange for the collection of the sacred 
plant, and bards were sent forth in all directions to summon the 
people to the great religious ceremony. The words of the proclama- 
tion are believed to survive in the custom which prevails, especially at 
Chartres, the old metropolis of the Druids, of soliciting presents on the 
New Year, with the words * an gui I'an neuf " — (" Le Gui de Chene 
et les Druides," Magdaleine, quoted by John Elliot Howard, in 
"Victoria Society Transactions," vol. xiv.) 

"The Celtic name for the oak was 'gue,' or *gviy.' " — (Brand, Pop. 
Ant., vol. i. p. 458.) 

A writer in "Notes and Queries" shows (vol. ii. p. 163) that the 
word mistletoe is " le gui " in French ; the continental Druid was 
called Gui, or a Guy, from "cuidare," whence "Guide." At the 


present day, while the mistletoe itself is a charin, the name is a term 
of opprobium, — guy, in English. 

M. C. H. Gaidoz takes exception to this interpretation. In his 
opinion, the words "aguinaldo" and "k gui I'an neuf" are to be de- 
rived from the Latin " ad calendas." — (Personal letter, dated Paris, 
France, March 11, 1889.) 




rriHE sacrificial value of cow dung and cow urine throughout India 
-^ and Thibet is much greater than the reader might be led to infer 
from the brief citation already noted from Max M tiller. 

" Hindu merchants in Bokhara now lament loudly at the sight of a 
piece of cow's flesh, and at the same time mix with their food, that it 
may do them good, the urine of a sacred cow, kept in that place." ^ 
(Erman, "Siljeria," London, 1848, vol. i. p. 384.) 

Picart naiTates that the Brahmins fed grain to a sacred cow, and 
afterward searched in the ordure for the sacred grains, which they 
picked out whole, drying and administering them to the sick, not 
merely as a medicine, but as a sacred thing.* 

Not only among the people of the lowlands, but among those of 
the foot-hills of the Himalayas as well, do these rites find place ; " the 
very dung of the cow is eaten as an atonement for sin, and its urine is 
used in worship." — (Notes on the Hill Tribes of the Neilgherries, 
Short, Trans. Ethnol. Society, London, 1868, p. '268.) 

" The greatest, or, at any rate, the most convenient of all purifiers 
is the urine of a cow ; . . . Images are sprinkled with it. No man 
of any pretensions to piety or cleanliness would pass a cow in the 
act of staling without receiving the holy stream in his hand and sip- 

^ Apres avoir donne du riz en pot, h, manger aux vaches ils vont fouiller dans la 
bouze et en retirent les grains qu'ils trouvent entiers. lis font seclier ces grains et 
les donnent a leurs malades, non seulement comme nn reniude mais encore comme 
une chose sainte. — (Picart, " Coutumes et Ceremonies religieuses," etc., Amster- 
dam, 1729, vol. vii. p. 18.) 

This is neither better nor worse than the custom of the Indians of Texas, 
Florida, and California, herein before described. 

Chez les Indiens, la bouze de la vache est trts-sainte. — (Picart, idem, vol. vi. 
part 2, pp. 191-193.) 

Picart also discloses that the Banians swear by a cow. — {Idem, vol. vii. p. 16.) 

A small quantity of the urine (of the cow) is daily sipped by some (of tlie 
Hindus.) — (Asiatic Researches, Calcutta, 1805, vol. viii. p. 81.) 


ping a few drops. ... If the animal be retentive, a pious expectant 
will impatiently apply his finger, and by judicious tickling excite the 
grateful How." — (Moor's "Hindu Pantheon," London, 1810, p. 143.) 

See, also, note from Forlong, under "Initiation," p. IGl. 

"It may be noted that, according to Lajarde, * cow's-water ' origi- 
nally meant rain-water, the clouds being spoken of as cows. I give 
this for what it is worth. Your collection of facts goes strongly against 
the explanation." — (Personal letter from Prof. W. Ptobertson Smith, 
dated Christ College, Cambridge, England, August 11, 1888.) 

Speaking of the sacrifice called Poojah, Maurice says : " The Brah- 
inan prepares a place, which is purified with dried cow-dung, with 
which the pavement is spread, and the room is sprinkled with the 
urine of the same animal." — (Maurice, " Indian Antiquities," London, 
1800, voh i. p. 77.) 

" As in India, so in Persia, the urine of the cow is used in cere- 
monies of purification, during which it is drunk." — (" Zoological My- 
thology," Angelo de Gubernatis, London, 1872, vol. i. p. 95, quoting 
from Anquetil du Perron, "Zendavesta," ii. p. 245.) 

Dubois, in his chapter " Restoration to the Caste," says that a 
Hindu penitent "must drink the panchakaryam, — a word which lit- 
erally signifies the five things, namely, milk, butter, curd, dung, and 
urine, all mixed together." And he adds : — 

" The urine of the cow is held to be the most efficacious of any fin- 
purifying all imaginable uncleanness. I have often seen the supei-sti- 
tious Hindu accompanying these animals when in the pasture, and 
watching the moment for receiving the urine as it fell, in vessels which 
he had brought for the purpose, to carry it home in a fresh state ; or, 
catching it in the hollow of his hand, to bedew his face and all his 
body. When so used it removes all external impurity, and when 
taken internall}', which is very common, it cleanses all within." — 
(Abbe Dubois, "People of India," London, 1817, p. 29.) 

Very frequently the excrement is first reduced to ashes. The monks 
of Chivem, called Pandarones, smear their faces, breasts, and arms with 
the ashes of cow dung ■ they run through the streets demanding alms, 
very much as the Zuui actors demanded a feast, and chant the praises 
of Chivem, while they carry a bundle of peacock feathers in the hand, 
and wear the lingam at the neck.^ 

* " Les moines de Chivem sont nommes Pandarones. lis se barbouillent le 
visage, la poitrine, et les bras avec des cendres de bouse de vache ; ils parcouient les 
rues, demandent Taumdne et chantent les lonanges de Chivem, en portant un pa- 



" The tribes had not many feelings in common when they came to be 
writers and told us what they thought of each other. As a rule, they 
bitterly reviled each other's gods and temples. . . . Judeans called 
the Samaritan temple, where calves and bulls were holy, in a word of 
Greek derivation, ' Pelethos IS'aos,' ' the dung-hill temple.' . . . The 
Samaritans, in return, called the temple of Jerusalem ' tlie house of 
dung.'" — ("Rivers of Life," Forlong, vol, i. p. 1G2.) 

Commentators would be justified in believing that these terms pre- 
serve the fact of there having been in these places of worship the 
same veneration for dung that is to be found to this day among the 
peoples of the East Indies. 

In another place Dulaure calls attention to the similar use among 
the Hebrews of the ashes of the dung of the red heifer as an expiatory 

In one of the Hindu fasts the devotee adopts these disgusting ex- 
creta as his food. On the fourth day, " his disgusting beverage is the 
urine of the cow ; the fifth, the excrement of that holy animal is his 
allotted food." — (Maurice, " Indian Antiquities," London, 1800, vol. v. 
p. 222.) 

" I do not think that you can lay weight on the fact that in Israel, 
when a victim was entirely burned, the dung was not exempted 
from the fire. I think this only means that the victim was not cleared 
of offal, as in sacrifices that were eaten." — (Personal letter from Prof. 
W. Robertson Smith, Christ College, Cambridge, England. ) 

"Refert etiam Waltherns Schulzius (" Oest-Indianische Reise," lib. 3, 
cap, 10, l,m. 188, seq.) certam Indorum sectam Gioghi dictam nullum 
assumere cibum, nisi fimo vaccino coctum ; capillos et faciem Croco et 
Stercore vaccino inungunt ; nemo etiam in banc societatem admittitur 
nisi antea per longum temporis spatium Corpus suum hoc stercore 
nutriverit, etc." — (Schurig, " Chylologia," p. 783, quoted in "Biblio- 
theca Scatalogica," pp. 93-96.) 

Etmuller, "Opera Omnia," Commentar. Ludovic, Lyons, 1690, vol, 

quet de plumes de paon a la main et le lingam pendu au cou.'" — (Dulaure, "Des 

Divinites Generatrices," Paris, 1825, p. 105.) 

^ " Les Hebreux sacrifiaient et faisaient brfiler la vache rousse, dont les cendres 

melees avec de I'eau servaient aux expiations." — {Idem, cap. i. pp. 23, 24.) 
" They shall burn in the fire their dung." — (Levit. xvi. 27.) 
" Her blood with her dung shall he burn." — (Numbers xix. 5.) 


ii. pp. 171, 172, says that the Benjani, an Oriental sect, believers in the 
Transmigration of Souls, save the dung of their cows, gathering it up 
in their hands. 

Rosinus Lentilius, in the " Ephemeridum Physico-Medicorum," Leip- 
sig, 1694, quotes from the Itinerary of Tavernier, lib. 1, cap. 18, in 
regard to the Scybolophagi Indorum, who, in pursuance of vows to 
eat flesh only, scrape up the droppings of horses, bulls, cows, and 
sheep. " Scybolophagi Indorum, de qua Tavernier, quod Benjan.c 
aliseque mulieres voto semet obstringant soli manducationi quisqui- 
liarura, quas in pecorum, equorum, boum, vaccarum, stercoribus rus- 
patione sedula conquirunt. , . . Nee proprie de Homerda seu humanis 
excrementis, quibus Indorum nonnulli cibos condire, iisque ptarmici 
pulvere vice uti, quin et medicamentis, ceu panaceam, coramiscere, 
non aversuntur." 

No mention is made by Marco Polo of the use by the people of India 
of cow-dung or urine in any of their religious ceremonies, excepting one 
example cited under the head of " Industries." But the antiquity of 
the rite is demonstrated by the fact that it is frequently alluded to 
in the oldest of the canonical books of the people of India. 

" Regarding the installation of Yudhisthira (the oldest son of Pandu 
and eldest brother of the Pandavas), who became Maharajah after the 
defeat and death of the Kauravas on the field of Kuruk-shetra, the Brah- 
minical authors of the Maha-Bharata, in its present form, descril>e 
among the ceremonies used on the occasion the following one : " (Con- 
densed from the text of J. Talboys Wheeler, " History of India," 
" The Vedic Period and the Maha-Bharata," vol. i. p. 371.) " After this, 
the five purifying articles which are produced from the sacred cow — 
namely, milk, the curds, ghee, the urine, and the ordure — were brought 
up by Krishna and the Maharaja and by the brothers of Yudhisthira, 
and poured by them over the heads of Yudhisthira and Draupadi." 

"The appearance of Krishna here stamps the narrative with the 
characteristic cultus of a period far later than that in which the Vedic 
Aryans had used the cow as a religious symbol. The animal was now 
sacred to "Vishnu, who held no place in the Vedic Pantheon, and his 
worship had been sufficiently developed to admit of his incarnation as 
Krishna." — (Personal letter from Dr. J. Hampden Porter, dated 
Washington, D. C, Sept. 29, 1888.) 

De Gubernatis speaks of " the superstitious Hindoo custom of puri- 
fying one's self by means of the excrement of a cow. The same custom 
passed into Persia ; and the Kharda Avesta has pi'eserved the formula 


to be recited by the devotee while he holds in his hand the urine of an 
ox or cow, preparatory to washing his face with it : ' Destroyed, de- 
stroyed, be the Demon Ahriman, whose actions and works are cursed.' " 
— ("Zoological Mythology," De Gubernatis, pp. 99-lCO, vol. i.) 

" We must complete the explanation of another myth, that of the 
excrement of the cow considered as purifying. The moon, as aurora, 
yields ambrosia. It is considered to he a cow; the urine of this cow 
is ambrosia or holy water ; he who drinks this water purifies himself, 
as the ambrosia which rains from the lunar ray and tlie aurora purifies 
and makes clear the path of the sky, which the shadows of night darken 
and contaminate. 

"The same virtue is attributed, moreover, to cow's dung, a concep- 
tion also derived from the cow, and given to the moon as well as to 
the morning aurora. These two cows are considered as making the 
earth fruitful by means of their ambrosial excrements ; these excre- 
ments being also luminous, both those of the moon and those of the 
aurora are considered as purifiers. The ashes of these cows which 
their friend the heroine preserves are not ashes, but golden powder or 
golden flour (the golden cake again occurs in that flour or powder of 
gold which the witch demands from the hero in Kussian stories) which, 
mixed with excrement, brings good fortune to the cunning robber- 

"The ashes of the sacrificed, pregnant cow (i. e., the cow which dies 
after having given birth to a calf) were religiously preserved by the 
Romans in the Temple of Vesta with bean-stalks, which are used to 
fatten the earth sown with corn, as a means of expiation. Ovid men- 
tions this rite. (Fasti, iv. 721.) "The ashes of a cow are preserved 
both as a symbol of resurrection and as a means of purification." — 
("Zool. Mythol.," De Gubernatis, vol. i. pp. 275-277.) 

The learned author overlooks in his argument that cows were sacri- 
ficed and worshipped in India before they were transferred to the 
Zodiac and to the symbolism of the elements.^ 

1 After the publication of Ins original pamphlet, the author became acquainted 
with the views of Mr. Lang upon this subject. An examination of tliem, as given 
in his "Mj'th, Ritual, and Religion," vol. ii. p. 137, will show that he perceives 
the defect in the explanation given by De Gubernatis in much the same manner as 
here expressed. 

" The clouds in the atmosphere being often viewed as a herd of cows." — (Intro- 
duction to vol. iv. of '* Zendavesta," p. 64, James Darmesteter, edition of Oxford, 
1880 : "Sacred Books of the East," edited by Max Miiller.) 

A personal letter received from W. S. "Wyndham, Esq., Boyne Island, Queens- 


" Heligion, at its base, is the product of imagination working on 
early man's wants and fears, and is in no oense supernatural or the 
result of any preconceived and deliberate thought or desire to work 
out a system of morals. It arose in each case from what appeared to 
be the pressing needs of the day or season on the man or his tribe. 
The codification and expansion of faiths would then be merely the 
slow outcome of the cogitations and teachings of reflective minds, 
working usually with a refining tendency on the aforesaid primitive 
Nature-worship, and in elucidation of its ideas, symbolism, and legends. 
Early rude worshippers could not grasp abstractions, nor follow ser- 
mons even if they had been preached, and certainly not recondite the- 
ories on what the "West designates * Solar,' and other theories." — 
(" Rivers of Life," Forlong, vol. i. p. 30.) 

" In the Shapast la Shayast (Sacred Books of the East, vol. v. part I.) 
much stress is laid on bull's urine as a purifier." — (Personal letter 
from Professor R. A. Oakes, "Watertown, New York, April 20, 1888.) 

" During the last few years we have been treated to a great deal of 
foolish gush about the beauty and nobility of Eastern religions. I 
don't deny that there are many commendable features about them, 
and that they often get near to the heart of true religion, as we under- 
stand it. But in their practical results they cannot be compared with 
Christianity. Take a concrete instance : — 

" The Rev. T. W. Jex-Blake has this to say about Benares, with its 
three thousand Hindu temples: 'Step into the city,' he says; 'one 
temple swarms with foetid apes ; another is stercorous with cows. The 
stench in the passages leading to the temples is frightful ; the filth be- 
neath your feet is such that the keenest traveller would hardly care to 
face it twice. Everywhere, in the temples, in the little shrines in the 
street, the emblem of the Creator is phallic. Round one most pictur- 
esque temple, built apparently long since British occupation began, 
probably since the battle of Waterloo, runs an external frieze, about 
ten feet from the ground, too gross for the pen to describe, — scenes 
of vice, natural and unnatural, visible to all the world all day long, 
worse than anything in the Lupanar in Pompeii. Nothing that I saw 
in India roused me more to a sense of the need of religious renovation 
by the Gospel of Christ than what met the eye openly, right and left, 
at Benares." (" Tribune," New York, Nov. 11, 1888.) 

land, Australia, relates that the tribes of Australia "have the stars laid out the 
same as we have, only, instead of the Great Bear, etc., they have the Emu, Kanga- 
roo, Dog, and other things and men introduced." 


" Forty years ago, during a stay of three months in Bombay, I saw 
frequently cows wandering in the streets, and Hindu devotees bowing, 
and lifting up the tails of the cows, rubbing the wombs of the aforesaid 
with the right hand, and afterwards rubbing their own faces with it." 

— (Personal letter from Captain Henri Jouan, French Navy, dated 
Cherbourg, France, July 29, 1888.) 

Almost identical information was communicated by General J. J. 
Dana, U. S. Army, who, in the neighborhood of Calcutta, over forty 
years ago, had seen Hindu devotees besmeared from head to foot with 
liuman excrement. 

Among the superstitious practices of the Greeks, Plutarch mentions 
"rolling themselves in dung-hills." ("Morals," Goodwin's trans., 
Boston, 1870, vol. i. p. 171, art. "Superstitions.") Plutarch also 
mentions "foul expiations," "vile methods of purgation," " bemirings 
at the temple," and speaks of " penitents wrapped up in foul and nasty 
rags," or "rolling naked in the mire," "vile and abject adorations," 

— (pp. 171-180.) 

This veneration for the excrement of the cow is to be found among 
other races. The Hottentots " besmear their bodies with fat and other 
greasy substances over which the}' rub cow-dung, fat and similar sub- 
stances." — (Thurnberg's " Account of the Cape of Good Hope," in 
Pinkerton, vol. xvi. pp. 25, 73, 139. 

" Every idea and thought of the Dinka is how to acquire and main- 
tain cattle ; a certain kind of reverence would seem to be paid them ; 
even their offal is considered of high importance. The dung, which is 
burnt to ashes for sleeping in and for smearing their persons, and 
the urine, which is used for washing and as a substitute for salt, are 
their daily requisites." — (Schweinfurth, "Heart of Africa," vol. i. 
p. 58.) 

In the religious ceremonies of the Calmuck Lamas, " Les pauvres 
jettent au commencement de I'office, qui dure toute la journee, un peu 
d'encens sur de la bouse de vache allumee et port^e par un petit trcpied 
de fer." — (" Voy. de Pallas/' vol. i. p. 563.) 




A MONG the Banians of India, proselytes are obliged by the Brah- 
-^^ mans to eat cow-dung for six mouths. They begin with one 
pound daily, and diminish from day to day. A subtle commentator, 
says Picart, might institute a comparison between the nourishment of 
these fanatics and the dung of cows which the Lord ordered the 
prophet Ezekiel to mingle with his food.^ 

This was the opinion held by Voltaire on this subject. Speaking of 
the prophet Ezekiel, he said : " He is to eat bread of barley, wheat, 
beans, lentils, and millet, and to cover it with human excrement." ' It 
is thus, he says, that the " children of Israel shall eat their bread de- 
filed among the nations among which they shall be banished." But 
"after having eaten this bread of affliction, God permits him to cover 
it with the excrement of cattle simply." 

The view entei'taiued by some biblical commentators is that the 
excrement was used for baking the bread ; but if this be true, why 
should human fteces be used for such a purpose 1 (Consult Lange's 
Commentaries, article " Ezekiel," and McClintock and Strong's Cyclo- 
predia, article " Dung.") 

1 Disons un mot de la maniere dont les Proselytes des Banians sont obliges de 
vivre les premiers mois de leur conversion. Les Brahmines lenr ordonneut de 
'nieler de la fiente de la vache dans tout ce qu'ils mangent pendant ce tems de re- 
generation. . . . Que ne diroit pas ici un comnientateur subtil qui voudroit com- 
parer la uourriture de ces proselytes avec les ordres que Dieu donna autrefois a 
Ezechiel de meler de la fiente de vache dans ses alimens. Ezekiel iv. — (Picart, 
" Coutumes et ceremonies religieuses," etc., Amsterdam, 1729, vol. vii. p. 15.) 

^ " II doit manger du pain, du froment, d'orge, de feves, de millets, etde couvrir 
d'excremens humains," etc. — (Voltaire, " Essais sur les Mceurs," vol. i. p. 195, 
Paris, 1795). 

"And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that 
cometh out of man in their sight." — (Ezekiel iv. 12.) 


"For mere filth, what can be fouler than 2 Kings xviii. 27, Isaiah 
xxxvi. 12, and Ezekiel iv. 12-15 (where the Lord changes human 
ordure into* cow chips')? ' Ce qui excuse Dieu,* said Henri Bayle, 
'ce qu'il u'existe pas.' I add, as man has made him." — (Richard F. 
Burton, " Terminal Essay " to his edition of the " Arabian Xights," 
vol. X. p. 181, foot-note, London, 1886.") 

Bayle does not allude to the baking of bread with ordure in his brief 
article upon the prophet Ezekiel ; neither does Prof. J. Stuart Blaikie 
in his more comprehensive dissertation in the Encyclopaedia Britaunica, 
article " Ezekiel." 

"The use of dung b}^ the ancient Israelites is collected incidentally 
from the passage in which the prophet Ezekiel, being commanded, as a 
symbolic action, to bake his bread with dung, excuses himself from the 
use of an unclean thing, and is permitted to employ cow's dung instead." 
— (Strong and McClintock's " Cyclopaedia of Biblical and Classical 
Literature," New York, 1868, vol. ii. article " Dung.") 

" I fear that Voltaire cannot be taken as an authority on Hebrew 
matters. I believe that the passage from Ezekiel is correctly rendered 
in the revised edition, where at verse 15 ' thereon ' is substituted for 
' therewith' of the old version. The use of dried cow's-dung as fuel is 
common among the poorer classes in the East ; and in a siege, fuel, al- 
ways scarce, would be so scarce that a man's dung might have to be 
used. I do not think that one need look further for the explanation of 
verses 15-17 ; the words of verse 15 are not ambiguous, and that used 
for dung is the same as the Arabs still apply to the dried cakes of cow's 
dung used for fuel. Voltaire and Picart both seem to have used the 
Vulgate, in which verse 12 is wrongly rendered." — (Personal letter 
from Prof. W. Robertson Smith, Cambridge, England.) 

" Les nombreux examples qui precedent rendent moins interessante 
la question de savoir an Ezechias stercus comederit ; ce ne serait qu'un 
mangeur de plus. Pourtant on pent voir dans la Bible le verset 12 
du chap. iv. de ce prophete : ' et quasi sub cinericium hordaceum comedes 
illud et stercore quod egreditur de homine operies illud in oculis eorum ; ' 
et les diverses interpretations donnees par les differents traducteurs et 
commentateurs." — (Bihliotheca Scatalogica, pp. 93-96.) 

Schurig consacre im paragraphe k discuter an Ezechias stercus come- 
derit. — (Idem, p. 39.) 

Just exactly what Schurig thought on this subject may be stated 
in his own words. Although not positive, he inclines to the opinion 
that Ezekiel did eat excrement : — 


" Denique, mandato divino, Propiieta Ezechiel, cap. iv. ver. 12, pla- 
centam hordeaceain cum stercore liumano parasse atque cornedisse 
primo intuitu videtur, juxta versionem Lutheri. . . . Juxta Junium 
ct Tremellium allegata verba sic sonant : Comedes cibum ut placen- 
tara hordeaceam, ct ad orbes excrcmcnti humani parabis placentani 
istam in oculis illorum. Juxta Sebustianum Schmidium : Sicut placcn- 
tam liordeorura comedes eum ; quod ad ipsum tamen, cum stercore finii 
liominis facies in oculis eorum. Bene etiam hunc locum explicat 
Textus Gallicus mese editionis : Tu mangeras de fouaces d'orge, et les 
cuiias avec la fiente qui sort hors de rhomme eux le voyaus." — 
("Chylologia," Dresden, 1725, pp. 782, 783.) 

" Ezekiel says that his God told him to lie for three hundred and 
ninety days on his left side, and then forty days on liis right side, 
when * he would lay hands on him and turn him from one side to an- 
other ; ' also that during all this period he was only to eat barley bread 
baked in too disgusting a manner to be described." — (" Rivers of 
Life," Forlong, vol. ii. p. 597.) 

"Tliis last command was, however, so strongly resented that his 
Deity somewhat relaxed it." — (Idem.) 

The most rational explanation of this much-disputed and ambiguous 
passage must necessarily be such as can be deduced from a considera- 
tion of Ezekiel's environment. 

Giving due weight to every doubt, there remains this feature: the 
prophet unquestionably was influenced and actuated by the ideas of 
his day and generation, which looked upon the humiliations to whicli 
he subjected himself as the outward manifestations of an inward 

Psychologically speaking, thei-e is no great difference between the 
consumption of human excrement and the act of lying on one's side for 
three hundred and ninety days; both are indications of the same 
perverted cerebration, mistaken with such frequency for piety and 

" Isaiah had periods of indecent maniacal outbursts ; for we are told 
that he once went about stark naked for three years, because so com- 
manded by the Lord." — ('' Rivers of Life/' vol. ii. p. 537, quoting 
Isaiah xx. 2, 3.) 


The foregoing testimony, which could readily be swelled in volume, 
proves the sacred character of these excreta, which may be looked upon 


as substitutes for a more perfect sacrifice. In the early life of the 
Hindus it is more than likely that the cow or the heifer was slaugh- 
tered by the knife or burnt ; as population increased in density, do- 
mestic cattle became too costly to be offered as a frequent oblation, 
and on the principle that the part represents the whole, hair, milk, but- 
ter, urine, and ordure superseded the slain carcass, while the inciner- 
ated excrement was made to do duty as a burnt sacrifice.^ 

It was hardly probable that such practices, or an explanation of the 
causes which led to their adoption and perpetuation, should have 
escaped the keen criticism of E. B. Tylor. 

"For the means of some of his multifarious lustrations, the Hindu 
has recourse to the sacred cow. . . . The Parsi religion prescribes a 
system of lustration which well shows its common origin with that of 
Hinduism by its similar use of cow's urine and water. . . . Applica- 
tions of nirang, washed off with water, form part of the daily religious 
rites, as well as of such special ceremonies as the naming of the new- 
born child, the putting on of the sacred cord, the purification of the 
mother after childbirth, and the purification of him who has touched 
a corpse." — (E. B. Tylor, "Primitive Culture," Loudon, 1871, vol. ii. 
pp. 396, 397.) 

" It will help us to realize how the sacrifice of an animal may atone 
for a human life, if we notice in South Africa how a Zulu will redeem 
a lost child from the finder by a bullock, or a Kimbunda will expiate 
the blood of a slave by the offering of an ox, whose blood will wash 
away the other. For instances of the animal substituted for man in 
sacrifice, the following may serve: Among the Khonds of Orissa, where 
Colonel MacPherson was engaged in putting down the sacrifice of human 
victims by the sect of the Earth-goddess, they at once began to discuss 
the plan of sacrificing cattle by way of substitutes. Now, there is 
some reason to think that this same course of ceremonial change may 
account for the following sacrificial practice in the other Khond sect. 
It appears that those who worship the Liglit-god hold a festival in his 
honor, when they slaughter a buffalo in commemoration of the time 
when, as they say, the Earth-goddess was prevailing on men to offer 

* Such an economic tendency in the sacrificial practices of the Parsis is shown 
by Tylor. The Vedic sacrifice, Agnishtoma, required that animals should be slain 
and their flesh partly committed to the gods by fire, partly eaten by sacrificers and 
priests. The Pars! ceremony, Izeshne, formal successor of tliis bloody rite, requires 
no animal to be killed, but it suffices to place the hair of an ox in a vessel, and 
show it to the fire. — ("Primitive Culture," E. B. Tylor, New York, 1874, vol. ii. 
p. 400.) 


human sacrifices to her, but the Light-god sent a tribe-deity who 
crushed the bloody-minded Earth-goddess under a mountain and 
dragged a buffalo out of the jungle, saying, 'Liberate the man, and 
sacrifice the bufi'alo.' It looks as though this legend, divested of its 
mythic garb, may really record a historical substitution of animal for 
human sacrifice. In Ceylon, the exorcist will demand the name of the 
demon possessing a demoniac, and the patient in frenzy answers, giving 
the demon's name, ' I am So-and-so ; I demand a human sacrifice, and I 
will not go without.' The victim is promised, the patient comes to 
from the tit, and a few weeks later the sacrifice is made ; but instead 
of a man they offer a fowl. Classic examples of a substitution of this 
sort may be found in the sacrifice of a doe for a virgin to Artemis ia 
Laodicsea, a goat for a boy to Diouysos at Potniae. 

" There appears to be a Semitic connection here, as there clearly is in 
the story of the ^Eolians of Tenedos sacrificing to Melikertes (Melkarth) 
instead of a new-born child a new-born calf, shoeing it with buskins and 
tending the mother cow as if a human mother." — (Idem, vol. ii. 
p. 366 ; or in New York edition, 1879, vol. ii. pp. 403, 404.) 

" ]Maker of the material world, thou Holy One ! which is the urine 
wherewith the corpse-bearers shall wash their hair and their bodies] 
Is it of sheep or of oxen ] Is it of man or of woman ] 

" Ahura Mazda answered : It is of sheep or of oxen, not of man nor 
of woman, except these two, the nearest kinsman {of the dead) or his 
nearest kinswoman. The worshippers of Mazda shall therefore pro- 
cure the urine wherewith the corpse-bearers shall wash their hair and 
their bodies." — (Fargard vii., Avendidad, Zendavesta, Oxford, 1890, 
p. 96.) • 

" A prince may sacrifice his enemy, having first invoked the axe with 
holy texts, by substituting a buffalo or goat, calling the victim by the 
name of the enemy throughout the whole ceremony." — (" The San- 
guinary Chapter," translated from the " Calica Purana," in vol. 5, 
" Transactions Asiatic Society," 4th edition, London, 1807, p. 386.) 

"An interesting chapter of the Aitareya-brahmanam, on the sacrifice 
of animals, shows us how, next to man, the horse was the supreme 
sacrifice offered to the gods ; how the cow afterwards took the place of 
the horse, the sheep of the cow, the goat of the sheep ; and at last 
vegetable products were substituted for animals, — a substitution or 
cheating of the gods in the sacrifice, which perhaps explains even more 
the fraud of which, in popular stories, the simpleton is always the vic- 
tim ; the simpleton hero being the god himself, and the cheater man. 


who changes, under a sacred pretext, the noblest and most valued ani- 
mals for common and less valued ones, and finally for vegetables ap- 
parently of no value whatever. In Hindu codes of law we have the 
same fraudulent substitution of animals under a legal pretext. ' The 
killer of a cow,' says the code attributed to Yaguavalkyas, ' must stay 
a month in peniteuce, drinking the panchakaryam ' (that is, the five 
good productions of the cow, which, according to Manus, are milk, curds, 
butter, urine, and dung), sleeping in a stable, and following the cows.' " 
— ("Zool. Mythol.," De Guberuatis, vol. i. pp. 44, 45.) 

" The sacred books of the Hindus contain the most formal and de- 
tailed instructions about human sacrifices, and on what occasions and 
with what ceremonies they are to be offered ; sometimes on an enor- 
mous scale, — as many as one hundred and fifty human victims at one 
sacrifice." — Ragoziu, "Assyria," New York, 1887, pp. 127-128. 

Continuing, Ragozin says : " When bloody sacrifices, even of animals, 
were in great part abolished, and offerings of cakes of rice and wheat 
were substituted, the humane change was authorized by a parable 
which told how the sacrificial virtue had left the highest and most 
valuable victim, man, and descended into the horse, from the horse 
into the steer, from the steer into the goat, from the goat into the sheep, 
and from that at last passed into the earth, where it was found abiding 
in the grains of rice and wheat laid in it for seed. 

" This was an ingenious way of intimating that henceforth harm- 
less ofierings of rice and wheat cakes would be as acceptable to the 
deity as the living victims, human and animal, formerly were." — 
(Idem, p. 128.) 

As the animal victim became more and more valuable, we have seen 
that its excreta were offered in its place. 

The Celtic stock, it is now generally admitted, represents a very early 
migration from India. Exactly when this migration began and was 
completed we have no means of determining ; but we may safely say, 
judging from the prominence in Celtic folk-lore of the chicken-dung, 
that it did not occur until the cultus of India was beginning to cast 
about for some suitable substitute for human sacrifice.^ 

1 Dubois declares that in the Atharvana Veda "bloody sacrifices of victims 
(human not excepted) are there prescribed." (" People of India," London, 
1817, p. -341.) And in those parts of India where human sacrifice had been 
abolished a substitutive ceremony was practised " by forming a human figure of 
flour paste or clay, which they carry into the temple, and there cut off its head and 
mutilate it in various ways, in presence of the idols." — (Idem, p. 490.) 


luman takes the ground that the very same substitution occurred 
among the Hebrews. Commenthig upon 1 Kings xix. 18, he says : 
" lu the Vulgate the passage is thus rendered: ' They say to these, 
Sacrifice the men who adore the calves;' while the Septuagint ren- 
ders the words, ' Sacrifice men, for the calves have come to an end,' 
indicating a reversion to human sacrifice." — (Innian, "Ancient Faiths 
Embodied in Ancient Names," London, 1878, article " Hosea.") 

" He that killeth an ox as if he slew a man ; he that sacrificeth a 
lamb as if he cut off a dog's neck ; he that offereth an oblation as if he 
offered swine's blood ; he that burneth incense as if he blessed an idol.'' 
— (Isaiah Ixvi. 3. Reference given to the above by Prof. W. Robert- 
son Smith.) 

" In the earliest period the horse seems to have been the favorite 
animal for sacrifice." — ("'Teutonic Mythology," Jacob Grimm, vol. i. 
p. 47.) 

" The Brahmans show how, in Hindostan, the lower animals became 
vicarious substitutes for man in sacrifice." — ('' Myth, Ritual, and 
Religion," Andrew Lang, vol. ii. p. 40, footnote.) 

If tlie cow have displaced a human victim, may it not be within 
the limits of probability that the ordure and urine of the sacred 
bovine are substitutes, not only for the complete carcass, but that they 
symbolize a former use of human excreta?^ The existence of ur-orgies 
has been indicated in Siberia, where the religion partakes of many of 
the characteristics of Buddhism.^ The minatory phraseology of the 
Brahminical inhibition of the use of the fungi which enter into these 
orgies has been given verhatim ; so that, even did no better evidence 
exist, enough has been presented to open up a wide range of dis- 
cussion as to the former area of distribution of loathsome and dis- 
gusting ceremonials, which are now happily restricted to small and 
constantly diminishing zones. 


It is well to remember, however, that in India the more generally 
recognized efficacy of cow urine and cow dung has not blinded the 

1 After the Jew.s had been humbled by the Lord, and made to mingle human 
ordure with their bread, the punishment was mitigated by substitution. "Then 
he said unto me, Lo ! I have given thee cow's dung for man's dung, and thou shall 
prepare thy bread therewith." — Ezekiel iv. 15. 

2 Pallas believed "que le lamaisme des Kalmouks Mongols est originaire des 
Indes." — (Voy. de Pallas, vol. i. p. 535.) 


fanatical devotee to the necessity of occasionally having recourse to 
the human product. 

" At about ten leagues to the southward of Seringapatam there is a 
village called Nan-ja-na-gud, in which there is a temple famous all over 
the Mysore. Amongst the number of votaries of every caste who 
resort to it, a great proportion consists of barren women, who bring 
offerings to the god of the place, and pray for the gift of fruitfulness 
in return. But the object is not to be accomplished by the offerings 
and prayers alone, the disgusting part of the ceremony being still to 
follow. On retiring from the temple, the woman and her husband 
repair to the common sewer to which all the pilgrims resort in obe- 
dience to the calls of nature. There the husband and wife collect, 
with their hands, a quantity of the ordure, which they set apart, with 
a mark upon it, that it may not be touched by any one else ; and with 
their fingers in this condition, they take the water of the sewer in 
the hollow of their hands and drink it. Then they perform ablution 
and retire. In two or three days they return to the place of filth to 
visit the mass of ordure which they left. They turn it over with their 
hands, break it, and examine it in every possible way ; and, if they 
find that any insects or vermin are engendered in it, they consider it 
a favorable prognostic for the woman." — (Abbe Dubois, " People of 
India," London, 1817, p. 411.)* 

1 Previous notes upon the Grand Lama of Tliibet, and upon the abominable 
practices of the Agozis and Gurus seem to be pertinent in this connection. 
See pp. 40-42. « 




T^HE Romans and Egyptians went farther than this ; they had gods 
-^ of excrement, wliose special function was the care of latrines and 
those who frequented them. Torquemada, a Spanish author of high 
repute, expresses tliis in very plain language : — 

" I assert that they used to adore (as St. Clement writes to St. James 
the Less) stinking and filthy privies and water-closets ; and, what is 
viler and yet more abominable, and an occasion for our tears and not 
to be borne with or so much as mentioned by name, they adored the 
noise and wind of the stomach when it expels from itself any cold or 
flatulence ; and other things of the same kind, which, according to the 
same saint, it would be a shame to name or describe."^ 

In the preceding lines Torquemada refers to the Egyptians only, 
but, as will be seen by examining the Spanish notes below, his 
language is almost the same when speaking of the Romans.' The 
Roman goddess was called Cloacina. She was one of the first of the 
Roman deities, and is believed to have been named by Romulus him- 
self. Under her chai-ge were the various cloacae, sewers, privies, etc., 
of the Eternal City.' 

^ Digo que adoraban (segun San Clemente escrive a Santiago el menor), las he- 
diondas y sucias necesarias y latrinas ; j' lo que es peor y mas abominable y digno 
de llorar y no de sufrir, ni nombrarle por su nombre, que adoraban, el estniendo y 
cnigimiento, que hace el vientre quando despide de si alguna frialdad 6 ventosidad 
y otras semejantes, que segun el mismo santo es verguenza nonibrarlas y decirlas. 
— (Torquemada, Monarchia Indiana, lib. vi. chap. 13, Madrid, 1723.) 

^ Los Romanos . . . constituieron Diosa a los hediondas necesarias 6 latrinas y 
la adoraban y consagraban y ofrecian sacrificios. — (Idem, lib. vi. chap. 16, Madrid, 

8 There is another opinion concerning Cloacina — that she was one of the names 
given to a statue of Venus found in the Cloaca Maxima. Smith, in his Dictionary 
of Antiquities, London, 1850, expresses this view, and seems to be followed by the 
American and Britannic Encyclopoedias. Lempriere defines Cloacina : " A goddess 
of Rome, who presided over the Cloacae — some suppose her to be Yenus — whose 


"Les anciens avaient fait plusieurs divinites du Stercus ; 1. Stercus 
ou Sterces, pere de Picus, inveuteur de la mcthode de fuiner les ter- 
rcs (S. August. De Civ. Dei, lib. xviii. cap. 15). 2. Sterculius 
(Macrob., Saturn, lib. i. cap. 7) ; 3. Stercutius (Lactant. de fal. reb.), 
Stercutus, Sterquilinus, Sterquiline, diviuitcs qui presidaient aux en- 
grais. Quelques personnes croient que c'etait un surnom de Satunie 
comme inveuteur de I'agriculture ; d'autres y reconnaissent la terre 
elle-meme. Pline dit que ce dieu ctait fils du dieu Fauna et petit-fils 
de Picus, roi des Latins. — (Pline, lib. xvii. cap. 9, num. 40; Persius, 
sat. i. ver. 3.) 

" On bonore aussi Faunus avec les deux demiers sumoms." — (Pline, 
1(jc. cit. Bib. Scat.) 

" Consultez sur cette deese en I'honneur de laquelle on a frappe des 
mcdailles, Lactant. Instit. lib. i. cap. 20, p. 11 ; St. Cyp. Van. d. id. 
cap. 2, par. G ; Miuutins Felix, Oct. cap. 25 ; Pline, Hist. Nat. lib. xiv. 
cap. 29 ; Tite Live, 3, 48 ; Banier, Myth, tome i. 348 ; iv. 329, 338 ; " 
— (Bib. Scat. p. 43, footnote.) 

As far as possible, the above citations were verified ; the edition of 
St. Augustine consulted was that of the Reverend Maurice Dods, 
Edinburgh, 1871. 

"Tatius both discovered and worshipped Cloacina." — (Minutius 
Felix, " Octavius," cap. xxv., edition of Edinburgh, 18G9.) 

" Colatina, alias Clocina, was goddess of the stools, the jakes, and 
the privy, to whom, as to every of the rest, there was a peculiar 
temple edified." — (Reginald Scot, " Discovery of Witchcraft/"? lib. 16, 
cap. 22, giving a list of the Roman gods.) 

.statue was found in the Cloacre, whence the name." — (See, also, in Anthon's 
( lassical Dictionary. ) 

Higgins says that " tlie famous statue of Venus Cloacina was found in them 
(the Cloacffi Maxinite) by Romulus." — (.\nacalypsis, footnote to p. 624, London, 

Torquemada insists that the Romans borrowed this goddess from the Egyptians : 
"A esta diosa Uamaron Cloacina, Diosa que presidia en sus albanares y los guardaba, 
que son los lugnres doude van a parar todas las suciedades, inmundicias, y vasco- 
.Mdades de una Republica." — (Torquemada, lib. vi. chap. 17.) 

Torquemada, who makes manifest in his writings an intimate acquaintance with 
Hreek and Roman mythology, fortifies his position by references from St. Clem- 
ent, Itinerar., lib. 5 ; Lactantius, Divinas Ejus, lib. 1, chap. 20 ; Epistle of St. 
Clement to St. James the Less, Eusebius, de Preparatione Evangel., chap. 1 ; St. 
Augustine, Civ. Dei, lib. 2, chap. 22 ; Diod. Sic, lib. 1, chap. 2, and lib. 2, chap. 
4 ; Lucian, Dialogues, Cicero, de Nat. Dcorum, Pliny, lib. 10, chap. 27, and lib. 
11, chap. 21 ; Theodoiet, lib. 3, de Evangelii veritatis cognitione. 


The following epigram is taken from Harington's " Ajax," p. xviii. : 

" The Romans, ever counted superstitious, 
Adored with high titles of divinity. 
Dame Cloacina and the Lord Stercutins, — 
Two persons, in their state, of great affinity." 

For further references to Cloacina, see p. 264. 

"Stercus, Dieu particulier qui presidait a la garde-robe. Ce dernier 
nous rappelle qu'i, I'art. Scopetarius, num. Ill, nous avons dit quel- 
ques mots de Cloacine, deese des egouts. 

" On trouve encore dans Arnobe un dieu Latrinus duquel il dit : 
'Qnis Latrinus prtesideni latrinisT" — (Adv. Gent. lib. 4.) 

" Horace et tons les poetes du temps d'Auguste, parlent de Stercus 
et ses circonstances et dependances en cent endroits de leurs ouvrages. 
Martial, Catulle, Petrone, JNtacrobe, Lucrece, en saupoudrent leurs 
poesies ; Homere, Pline, Lampride en parlent a ciel et a coeurs con- 
verts ; Saint Jerome et Saint Augustin ne dedaignent pas d'en entre- 
tenir leurs lecteurs." — (Bibliotheca Scatalogica, pp. 1, 2.) 

'' Dans Plautus, Aristophane fait dire per Carion que le dieu Es- 
culape aime et mange la merde : il est merdivore, corame ^crit le tra- 
ducteur latin ; Prave dieu, comme Sganarelle, qui a dit ce mot sacra- 
mentel et profond, — * La matiere est-elle louable'?' II trouve dans 
les excrements le secret des souffrances humaines. Son trepied pro- 
phetique et medical, c'est une chaise percee. — (Idem, p. 66.) 

" Sterculius. (Myth.) surnom donn6 a Saturne, parcequ'il fut le 
premier qui apprit aux hommes ^ fumer les terres pour les rendre fer- 
tiles." — ("Encyc. Kaisonne des Sciences," etc., Neufchatel, 1765, 
tome quinzieme, art. "Sterculius.") 

The Romans " had a god of ordure named Stercntius ; one for other 
conveniences, Crepitus ; a goddess for the common sewers, Cloacina." 
— (Banier, "Mythology," vol. i. p. 199.) 

" Sterculius was one of the surnames given to Saturn because he was 
the first that had laid dung upon lands to make them fertile." — (Idem, 
vol. ii. p. 540.) 



Another authority states that " the zealous adorers of Siva rub the 
forehead, breast, and shoulders with ashes of cow-dung," and, further, 
he adds : " It is very remarkable that the Assyrian Venus, according to 



Lucian, had also offerings of dung placed upon her altars." — (Maurice, 
"Indian Antiquities," London, 1800, vol. i. pp. 172, 173.) ^ 


The Mexicans had a goddess, of whom we read the following : — 
Father Fabreya says, in his commentary on the Codex Borgianus, that 
the mother of the human race is there represented in a state of humilia- 
tion, eating cuitlatl {kopros, Greek). The vessel in the left hand of 
Suchiquecal contains " mierda,'^ according to the interpreter of these 
paintings. — (See note to p. 120, Kingsborough's "Mexican Antiqui- 
ties," vol. iv.) 

The Spanish mierda, like the Greek kopros, means ordure. 

Besides Suchiquecal, the mother of the gods, who has been repre- 
sented as eating excrement in token of humiliation, the jNIexicans had 
other deities whose functions were more or less clearly complicated 
with alvine dejections. The most prominent of these was Ixcuina 
called, also, Tlagolteotl, of whom Brasseur de Bourbourg speaks in 
these terms : The goddess of ordure, or Tla^olquani, the cater of ordure, 
because she presided over loves and carnal pleasures.^ 

Mendieta mentions her as masculine, and in these terms : The god 
of vices and dirtinesses, whom they called Tlazulteotl.' 

Bancroft speaks of " the Mexican goddess of carnal love, called Tla- 
zoltecotl, Ixcuina, Tlacloquani," etc., and says that she "had in 
her service a crowd of dwarfs, buffoons, and hunchbacks, who diverted 
her with their songs and dances and acted as meaeengers to such gods 
as she took a fancy to. The last name of this goddess means " eater 
of filthy things," referring, it is said, to her function of hearing and 
pardoning the confessions of men and women guilty of unclean and 

^ "Is Maurice's reference to Lucian correct? There is nothing of the kind in 
the Dea Syra, nor can I find it elsewhere in his works, though the Index by Eentz 
is practically a Concordance. Still, I do not affirm thai it is not there." — (Per- 
sonal letter from Professor W. Robertson Smith, Christ College, Cambridge, 

By a reference to page 36, it will be seen that Sakya-muni eats his own excre- 
ment, and one of the Bourkans or gods of the Kalmucks is represented as addicted 
to the same filthy habit. 

2 Tla9olteotl, la deese de I'ordure, ou Tla(;olquani, la mangeuse d'ordure, parce- 
qu'elle prcsidait aux amours et aux plaisirs lubriques. — (Brasseur de Bourbourg, 
introduction to Landa, French edition, Paris, 1864, p. 87.) 

8 El dios de los vicios y snciedades que le decian Tlazulteotl. — (Mendieta, in 
Icazbalceta, Mexico, 1870, vol. i. p. 81.) 


carnal crimes. — (Bancroft, H. H. " Native Races of the Pacific Slope," 
vol. iii. p. 380.) 

In the manuscript explaining the Codex Telleriano, given in Kings- 
borough's "Mexican Antiquities," vol. v. p. 131, occurs the name of 
the goddess Ochpaniztli, whose feast fell on the 12th of September of 
our calendar. She was described as " the one who sinned by eating 
the fruit of the tree." The Spanish monks styled her, as well as 
another goddess, Tla9olteotl, — "La diosa de basura 6 pecado." But 
"basura" is not the alternative of sin (pecado); it means "dung, 
manure, ordure, excrement." ^ It is possible that, in their zeal to dis- 
cover analogies between the Aztec and Christian religions, the early 
missionaries passed over a number of points now left to conjecture. 

In the same volume of Kingsborough, p. 136, there is an allusion 
to the offerings or sacrifices made Tepeololtec, " que, en romance, 
quiere decir sacrificios de mierda," which, " in plain language, signifies 
sacrifices of excrement. Nothing further can be adduced upon the 
subject, although a note at the foot of this page, in Kingsborough, 
says that here several pages of the Codex Talleriano had been obliter- 
ated or mutilated, probably by some over-zealous expurgator. 

Deities, created in the ignorance or superstitious fears of devotees, 
are essentially man-like in their attributes ; where they are depicted as 
cruel and sanguinary toward their enemies, the nation adoring them, 
no matter how pacific to-day, was once cruel and sanguinary likewise. 
Anthropophagous gods are worshipped only by the descendants of 

^ According to Neumann and Baretti's Velasquez, while, according to the Dic- 
tionary of the Spanish Academy, the meaning is "the dirt and refuse collected in 
sweeping, — the sweepings and dung of stables." The same idea has since been 
found in an extract from an ancient writer, given in "Melusine," May 5, 1888. — 
(Paris, Gaidoz.) 

" Les Esprits forts de I'Antiquite Classique. Eusfebe, dans sa ' Preparation Evan- 
gelique' (XIII. 13), cite quelques vers de Xenophane de Colophone sur I'unit^ et 
I'immortalite de Dieu qui ne pent ressembler aux hommes ni en forme ni en esprit. 
Ces vers se temiinent ainsi : 

' Mais si les bceufs et les lions avaient des mains, — s'ils savaient dessiner avec ces 
mains, et produire les memes oeuvres que les hommes, — ils (les dieux) seraient sem- 
blables aux bceufs pour les bceufs et semblables aux chevaux pour les chevaux. Et 
ceux-ci dessineraient les figures des dieux et ils leur feraient des corps semblables 
h ceux qu'ils ont eux-memes.'" — Patrologie Grecque de Migne, t. xxi. col. 1121, 
H. G. — Voir aussi J. Bizouard "Rapports de I'homme avec le demon," Paris, 1864, 
con9us dans le meme esprit.") 

Andrew Lang regards Tlazolteotl as the "Aphrodite of Mexico." — ("Myth, 
Rit., and Relig." vol. ii. p. 42.) 


cannibals, and excrement-eaters only by the progeny of those who 
were not unacquainted with human ordure as an article of food. 


Dulaure quotes from a number of authorities to show that the Israel- 
ites and Moabites had the same ridiculous and disgusting ceremonial in 
their worship of Bel-phegor. The devotee presented his naked poste- 
rior before the altar and relieved his entrails, making an offering to the 
idol of the foul emanations.^ Dung gods are also mentioned as having 
been known to the chosen people during the time of their idolatry.'^ 

Mr. John Frazer, LL.D., describing the ceremony of initiation, known 
to the Australians as the " Bora," and which he defines to be " certain 
ceremonies of initiation through which a youth passes when he reaches 
the age of puberty to qualify him for a place among the men of the 
tribe and for the privileges of manhood. By these ceremonies he is 
made acquainted with his father's gods, the mythical lore of the tribe 

1 L'adorateur presentait devant I'autel son posterieur nu, soulageait ses entrailles 
et faisait k I'idole une offiande de sa puante dejection. — (Dulaure, " Des Divinites 
Generatrices," Paris, 1825, p. 76.) 

Philo says the devotee of Baal-Peor presented to the idol all the outward orifices 
of the body. Another authority says that the worshipper not only presented all 
these to the idol, but that the emanations or excretions were also presented, — tears 
from the eyes, wax from the ears, pus from the nose, saliva from the mouth, and 
urine and dejecta from the lower openings. This was the god to which the Jews 
joined themselves ; and these, in all probability, were the ceremonies they practised 
in his worship. — (Robert Allen Campbell, Phallic Worship, St. Louis, 1888, p. 171.) 

Still another authority saj's the worshipper, j)resenting his bare posterior to the 
altar, relieved his bowels, and offered the result to the idol: " Eo quod distende- 
bant coram illo foramen podicis et stercus off'erebaut." — (Hargrave Jennings, 
Phallicism, London, 1884, quoting Rabbi Solomon Jarchi, in his Commentary on 
Numbers xxv. ) 

These two citations go to show that the worshipper intended making not a merely 
ceremonial off'ering of Hatulence, but an actual oblation of excrement, such as has 
been stated, was jdaced upon the altars of their near neighbors, the Assyrians, in the 
devotions tendered their Venus. 

2 Ye have seen dung gods, wood and stone. — (Deut. xxix. 17. See Cruden's 
Concordance, Articles " Dung" and " Dungy," but no light is thrown upon the ex- 

And ye have seen their abominations and their idols (detestable things), wood 
and stone, silver and gold, which were among them. — (Lange's Commentary on 
Deuteronomy, edited by Dr. Philip Schaff", New York, 1879. But m footnote one 
reads: "Margin — dungy gods from the shape of the ordure, literally thin clods 
or balls, or that which can be rolled about. — A. G.") 


and the duties required of him as a man. . . . The whole is under the 
tutelage of a high spirit called ' Dharamoolun.' . . . But, present at 
these ceremonies, although having no share in them, is an evil spirit 
called ' Gunungdhukhya,' ' eater of excrement,' whom the blacks greatly 
dread." Compare this word "Gunungdhukhya," with the Sanskrit 
root-word " Gu," " excrement ; " " Dhuk " is the Australian " to eat." 
— (Personal letter from John Frazer, Esq., LL.D., dated Sydney, New 
South Wales, Dec. 24, 1889. Continuing his remarks upon the subject 
of the evil spirit " Gunungdhukhya," he says : " This being is certainly 
supposed to eat ordure ; and such is the meaning of his name.") 

King James gravely informs us that " Witches ofttimes confesse that 
in their worship of the Devil, . . . Their form of adoration to be the 
kissing of his hinder parts." — (" Daemonologie," London, 1616, p. 
113.) This book appeared with a commendatory preface from Hinton, 
one of the bishops of the English Church. 

" Witches paid homage to the devil who was present, usually in the 
form of a goat, dog, or ape. To him they offered themselves, body and 
soul, and kissed him under the tail, holding a lighted candle." — 
(" History of the Inquisition," Henry C. Lea, New York, 1888, vol. iii., 
p. 500.) 

Knowing of the existence of "dung gods" among Romans, Egyp- 
tians, Hebrews, and Moabites, it is not unreasonable to insist, in the 
present case, upon a rigid adherence to the text, and to assert that, 
where it speaks of a sacrifice as a sacrifice of excrement and designates 
a deity as an eater of excrement, it means what it says, and should not 
be distorted, under the plea of symbolism, into a perversion of facts 
and ideas. 

Some writers made out the name of the god " Belzebul " to be iden- 
tical with "Beelzebub," and to mean "Lord of Dung," but this inter- 
pretation is disputed by Schaff-Herzog. — ("Encyclopaedia of Religious 
Knowledge," New York, article " Beelzebub.") 




'^pHE mention of the Roman goddess Cloacina suggests an inquiry 
into tiie general history of latrines and urinals. Their introduc- 
tion cannot be ascribed to purely hygienic considerations, since many 
nations of comparatively high development have managed to get along 
without them ; while, on the other hand, tribes in low stages of cul- 
ture have resorted to them. 

In the chapter treating upon witchcraft and incantation enough tes- 
timony has been accumulated to convince the most sceptical that the 
belief was once widely diffused of the power possessed by sorcerers, et id 
omne genus, over the unfortunate wretches whose excreta, solid or liquid, 
fell into their hands ; terror may, therefore, have been the impelling 
motive for scattering, secreting, or preserving in suitable receptacles 
the alvine dejections of a community. Afterwards, as experience 
taught men that in these egestse were valuable fertilizers for the fields 
and vineyards, or fluids for bleaching and tanning, the political authori- 
ties made their preservation a matter of legal obligation. 

The Trojans defecated in the full light of day, if we can credit the 
statement made to that effect in the "Bibliothcca Scatalogica," p. 8, in 
which it is shown that a French author (name not given) wrote a 
facetious but erudite treatise upon this subject. 

Captain Cook tells us that the New Zealanders had privies to every 
three or four of their houses ; he also takes occasion to say that there 
were no privies in Madrid until 17G0 ; that the determination of the 
king to introduce them and sewers, and to prohibit the throwing of 
luiman ordure out of windows after nightfall, as had been the custom, 
nearly precipitated a revolution. — (See in Hawkesworth's "Voyages," 
London, 1773, vol. ii. p. 314.) 

" These were more cleanly than most savages about excrements. 
Every house had a concealed (if possible) privy near, and in largo 
' Pas ' a pole was run out over the cliff to sit on sailor-fashion." — 


("The Maoris of New Zealand," E. Tregear, in "Journal of the An- 
thropological Institute," London, November, 1889.) 

Marquesas Islands. " Tliey are peculiarly cleanly in regard to the 
egestse. At the Society Islands the wanderer's eyes and nose are 
offended every morning in the midst of a path with the natural effects 
of a sound digestion ; but the natives of the Marquesas are accustomed, 
after the manner of our cats, to bury the offensive objects in the earth. 
At Taheite, indeed, they depend on the friendly assistance of rats, who 
greedily devour these odoriferous dainties ; nay, they seem to be con- 
vinced that their custom is the most proper in the woi'ld ; for their 
witty countryman, Tupaya, found fault with our want of delicacy when 
he saw a small building appropriated to the rites of Cloacina, in every 
house at Batavia." — (Forster, "Voyage round the World," London, 
1777, voLii. p. 28.) 

Forster speaks of the traffic between the English sailors and the 
vi'omen of Tahiti, in which the latter parted with their personal favors 
in return for red feathers and fresh pork ; in consequence of a too free 
indulgence in this heavy food, the ladies suff'ered from indigestion. 
" The goodness of their appetites and digestion, exposed them, how- 
ever, to inconveniences of restlessness, and often disturbed those who 
wished to sleep after the fatigues of the day. On certain urgent occa- 
sions they always required the attendance of their lovers ; but, as they 
were frequently refused, the decks were made to resemble the paths in 
the islands." — (Idem, vol. ii. p. 83.) 

In ancient Rome there were public latrines, but no privies at- 
tached to houses. There were basins and tubs, which were emptied 
daily by servants detailed for the purpose. No closet-paper was in 
use, as may be imagined, none having yet been invented or introduced 
in Europe, but in each public latrine, there was a bucket filled with 
salt water, and a stick having a sponge tied to one end, with which 
the passer-by cleansed his person, and then replaced the stick in the 
tub,^ Seneca, in his Epistle No. 70, describes the suicide of a German 
slave who rammed one of these sticks down his throat. 

1 There is a reference in Martial to this use of the sponge and stick (see Epigram 
XLVIII., in English translation, edition of London, 1871). Martial also speaks of 
a Roman lady whose close-stool was of gold, but her drinking-cup of glass, — 

" Ventris onus puro, nee te pudet excipis auro ; 
Sed hibis in vitreo, chareus, ergo cacas." — 

(Epigram XXXVI., quoted by Harington, " Ajax," p. 37.) 

High officials of Corea urinate in public into brass bowls, which are carried by 


The warning " Commit no nuisance," or in French " II est defeudu de 
faire ioi des ordures," is traceable back to the time of the Eonmns, 
who devoted to the wrath of the twelve great gods, "and of Jupiter 
and Diana as well, all who did any indecency in the neighborhood of 
the temples or monuments." " On nous saura gre de rapporter ici une 
inscription qui se lisait autrefois sur les thermos de Titus; * Duodecim 
Dios et Dianam et Jovem Optimum Maximum habeat iratos quisquis hie 
minxerit aut cacarit. ' " In Genoa, excommunication was threatened 
against all who infringed upon this same prohibition. 

Privieg were ordered for each house in Paris in 1513, whence we 
may infer that some house-builders had previously of their own im- 
pulse added such conveniences; as early as 1372, and again in 1395, 
there were royal ordinances forbidding the throwing of ordures out of 
the windows in Paris, which gives us the right to conclude that the 
custom must have been general and offensive ; the same dispositions 
were taken for the city of Bordeaux in 1585. 

Obscene poetry was known in latrines in Rome as in our own day, 
and some of the compositions have come down to us. — (See " Biblio- 
theca Scatalogica," pp. 13-17.) 

The Romans protected their walls "against such as commit nui- 
sances ... by consecrating the walls so exposed with the picture of a 
deity or some other hallowed emblem, and by denouncing the wrath of 
heaven against those who should be impious enough to pollute what it 
was their duty to reverence. The figure of a snake, it appears, was 
sometimes employed for this purpose. . . . The snake, it is well 
known, was reckoned among the gods of the heatliens." — ("Vestiges 
of Ancient Manners and Customs," Rev. John James Blunt, London, 
1823, p. 43.) 

Herodotus informs his readers that the Egyptians " ease themselves 
in their houses, but eat out of doors, alleging that whatever is indecent, 
though necessary, ought to be done in private, but what is not inde- 
cent openly." — (" Euterpe," p. 35.) 

Herodotus also speaks of the Egyptian king Amasis having made an 
idol out of a gold foot-pan, " in which the Egyptians formerly vomited, 

attendants in a sort of net or fillet and presented when required. — (Mr. W. W. 

The monasteries and nunneries of Thibet were provided with latrines. Among 
the sins against which the nuns (Bhikshuni) were warned were, " Si une bhik- 
shuni va seule aux lieux, et est," etc. — (" Pratikamoksha Sutra," Thibetan version, 
translated by W. W. liockhill, Paris, 1884, p. 44, "Ecole des langues Orientales 


made water, and washed their feet" ("Euterpe"). Minutius Felix, 
in his "Octavius," refers to this, and takes umbrage that heathen idols 
made of such foul materials should be adored (see his chapter xxv.). 

Tournefort mentions latrines in Marseilles. " They make advantage 
of the very excrements of the Gally-Slaves by placing at one end of the 
Gallies pi-oper vessels for receiving a manure so necessary to the coun- 
try." — (" A Voyage to the Levant," edition of London, 1718, vol. i, 
pp. 13-U.) 

There must have been latrines in Scotland, because James 1. of that 
kingdom was killed in one in the Monastery of the Black Friars, in Perth, 
in A. D. 1437; yet for many years later pedestrians in the streets of 
Edinburgh, after night-fall, took their own risks of the filthy deluge 
which house-maids were wont to pour down from the windows of the 
lofty houses. 

" As in modern Edinburgh so in ancient Eome, night was the time 
observed by the careful housekeeper for throwing her slops from the 
upper windows into the open drain that ran through the street beneath." 
— (Footnote to page 146 of Edward Walford's (M.A. of Baliol, Ox- 
ford) ed. of Juvenal, in " Ancient Classics for English Readers," Phila- 
delphia, 1872, quoting from Juvenal the line, "Clattering the storm 
descends from heights unknown," Satire III., line 274.) 

" 'T is want of sense to sup abroad too late 
Unless thou first hast settled thy estate ; 
As many fates attend thy steps to meet 
As there are waking windows in the street : 
Bless the good gods and think thy chance is rare 
To have a piss-pot only for thy share." 

(Dryden's translation of the Third Satire of Juvenal.) 

** And behold, there is nurra goaks in the whole kingdom (Scotland), 
nor anything for pore servants, but a barrel with a pair of tongs thrown 
across, and all the chairs of the family are emptied into this here bar- 
rel once a day ; and at ten o'clock at night the whole cargo is flung out 
of a back windere that looks into some street or lane, and the maid 
calls, ' Gardy loo ! ' to the passengers, which signifies, ' Lord have 
mercy upon you 1 ' and this is done every night in every house in 
Hadinborough." — (''Humphrey Clinker," Tobias Smollett, edition of 
London, 1872, p. 542.) 

The above seems to have been a French expression, — " Gare de 
. " The cry of all the South was that the public offices, the army, the 


navy, were filled with high-cheeked DrummoiKls and Erskines and 
McGillvrays. . . . All the old jokes on hills without trees, girls with- 
out stockings, men eating the food of horses, pails emptied from the 
fourteenth story, were pointed against these lucky adventurers." — 
(T. B. Macaulay, "The Earl of Chatham," American edition, Appletou 
and Co., New York, 1874, p. 720.) 

The addition of privies to the homes of the gentry would appear to 
have been an innovation in the time of Queen Elizabeth, else there 
would not have been so much comment made upon the action of Sir 
John Harington, her distant cousin, who erected one as a fitting con- 
venience to his new house, near Bath, and published a very Rabelaisian 
volume upon the subject in London in 1596. The title of the book, 
being quite long, — "A Discourse on a Stale Subject, called the Meta- 
morphosis of Ajas," — will in subsequent citations be given simply as 
Hariugton's " Ajax." From the description of the latrine in question 
there is no doubt that Harington anticipated nearly all the mecha- 
nism of modern days. 

liichard III. is represented as having been seated in a latrine, "sit- 
ting on a draught," when he was " devising with Terril how to have 
his nephews privily murdered." — (Harington, "Ajax," p. 46.) 

There is little reason to doubt that all houses in England, and all 
Continental Europe as well, were provided with receptacles for urine 
in the bed-chambers, even if no regular latrines existed outside of the 
monasteries and other community-houses. Dr. Robert Fletcher, U. S. 
Army, who has contributed the following, is of the opinion that these 
conveniences were provided for ladies only, and submits the following 
passages in support of his conclusions : — 

" Hamjo, in the * Wanderer,' part 2, by Sir Thomas Killigrew, de- 
scribing to Senilia the probable manners of a rude husband, says that, 
on retiring to bed, 'the gyant stretches himself, yawns, and sighs 
a belch or two, stales in your pot, farts as loud as a musket for a 
jest,' " etc. 

In Douce's "Illustrations of Shakspeare" is a curious print of a 
bishop blessing a newly married pair in the bridal bed ; on the lady's 
side a chamber-pot is ostentatiously displayed. 

Douce quotes the following from a rare " Morality," entitled, " Le 
Condemnation des Banquets:" " Pause pour pisser le fol. II prengt 
un coffinet en lieu de orinal et pisse dedans et tout coule par has." 

Hobbs, the Tanner of Tamworth, introduced by Heywood in his play 
of " King Edward the Fourth," the hero of the old ballad, furnished 


his rooms with urinals suited to his trade. He says to his guests, the 
King and Sellinger : " Come, take away, and let 's to bed. Ye sliall 
have clean sheets, Ned ; but they be coarse, good strong hemp, of my 
daughter's own spinning. And I tell thee your chamber-pot must be 
a fair horn, a badge of our occupation ; for we buy no bending pewter 
nor breaking earth." — (" 1 King Edward the Fourth," iii. 2, Hey- 
wood, 1600.) 

Additional references of the same tenor are to be found in the " Pil- 
grims," Beaumont and Fletcher, ii. 1 : " The Scourge of Villauie," 
Marston, 1599, satire 2 ; and in the following, which does not accord 
with Dr. Fletcher's opinion that such utensils were provided solely for 
the female members of the household. 

" Host. Hostlers, you kuaves and commanders, take the horses of 
the knights and competitors; your honorable hulks have put into har- 
bor; they'll take in fresh water here, and I have provided clean 
chamber-pots." — ("The ISlerry Devil of Edmonton," 1608.) 

Such vessels were in use in Ireland, where they were called *' omar- 
fuail," from omar, a vessel, and fuail, urine. They must have been 
employed from the earliest centuries. " And they (the Sybarites) 
were the first people who introduced the custom of bringing chamber- 
pots into entertainments" (Athenaus, book xii. cap. 17). 

It is not easy to detect any essential difference between the manners 
of the people of Iceland, as described by Bleekmaus on another page, 
and those of the more polished Romans. 

Bed-pans were used in France in the earliest days of the fifteenth 
century. They are noted in " The Farce of Master Pathelin " (a. d. 
1480). — (See "Le Moyon Age Medical," Dupouy, Paris, 1888, p. 280 
€t seq., and the translation of the same by Minor, Cincinnati, Ohio, 
1890, p. 82.) 

" Maids need no more their silver pisse-pots scour, 

Presumptuous pisse-pot, how did'st thou offend ? 
Compelling females on their hams to bend ? 
To kings aud queens we humbly bend the knee, 
But queens themselves are forced to stoop to thee." 

("On Melting down the Plate, or the Piss-Pot's Farewell," 
State Poems, vol. i. part 2, p. 215, a. d. 1697.) 

"What need hath Nature of silver dishes or gold chamber-pots ? " 

(" The Staple of News," Ben Jonson, iiL 2 ; London, 162S.) 


" In the ' Chronicle of London,' written in the fifteenth centnr}', a 
curious anecdote is related, to the effect that in A. D. 1258-60, a Jew, 
on Saturday, fell into a ' privy ' at Tewksbury, but out of reverence 
for his Sabbath, would not allow himself to be drawn out. The next 
day being Sunda}', the Earl of Gloucester would not let any one draw 
him out ; " and so, says the Chronicle, " the Jew died in the privy." 

— ("A Chronicle of London from 1089 to 1483," London, 1827, p. 20, 
quoted by Buckle in "Commonplace Book," p. 507, in vol. ii. of his 
Works, London, 1872.) 

" Heliogabalus' body was thrown into a jakes, as writeth Suetonius." 

— (Harington's "Ajax," p. 46.) 

Heliogabalus was killed in one (latrine) ; Arius, the great heresi- 
arch, and Pope Leo, his antagonist, had the same fate. Charles the 
Fifth, Emperor of Germany and Spain, was born in one in the palace 
of Ghent, of Jeanne of Aragon, in 1500 j hence, they must have been 
introduced in the localities named. — (See Biblioth. Scatal. p. 17.) 

" Urinary reservoirs were erected in the streets of Rome, either for 
the purpose of public cleanliness, or for the use of the fullers, who 
were accustomed to purchase their contents of the Roman government 
during the reign of Vespasian, and' perhaps other emperors, at a certain 
annual impost, and which, prior to the invention or general use of 
soap, was the substance employed principally in their mills for cleans- 
ing cloths and stuffs previous to their being dyed." — (John Mason 
Good, translation of Lucretius' "De Natura Rerum," London, 1805, 
vol. ii. p. 154, footnote.) 

"Vases, called Gastra, for the relief of passengers, were placed by 
the Romans iipon the edges of roads and streets." — (Fosbroke, 
" Encyc. of Ant.," London, vol. i. p. 526, article " Urine.") 

" Les Chinois semblent manquer d'engrais, car on trouve de tous 
cotes des lieux d'aisance pour les besoins des voyageurs." — ("Voyage 
a P^kin," De Guignes, Paris, 1808, vol. i. p. 284 ; and again, vol. iii. 
p. 322.) 

" Large vases of stone-ware are sunk in the ground at convenient 
places for the use of passing travellers." — (" Chinese Repository," 
Canton, 1835, vol. iii. p. 134.) 

" A traveller who lately returned from Pekin asserts that there is 
plenty to smell in that city, but very little to see. . . . The houses 
are all very low and mean, the streets are wholly unpaved, and are 
always very muddy and very dusty, and as there are no sewers or cess- 


pools, the filthiness of the town ia indescribable." — ("Chicago News," 
copied in the " Press," Philadelphia, Penn., May 14, 1889.) 

"By the Mahometan law, the body becomes unclean after each 
evacuation . . . both greater and smaller . . . requires an ablution, 
according to circumstances. ... If a drop of urine touches the 
clothes, they must be washed." For fear that their garments have 
been so defiled, " the Bokhariots frequently repeat their prayers stark 
naked." . . . The matter of cleaning the body after an evacuation of 
any kind is defined by religious ritual. " The law commands ' Is- 
tindjah ' (removal), ' istinkah ' (ablution), and 'istibra' (drying,)" — 
i. e., a small clod of earth is first used for the local cleansing, then 
water at least twice, and finally a piece of linen a yard in length. . . . 
In Turkey, Arabia, and Persia all are necessary, and pious men carry 
several clods of earth for the purpose in their turbans. " These 
acts of purification are also carried on quite publicly in the bazaars, 
from a desire to make a parade of their consistent piety." Vambery 
saw " a teacher give to his pupils, boys and girls, instruction in the 
handling of the clod of earth, and so forth, by way of experiment." — 
("Sketches of Central Asia," Arminius Vambery, London, 1868, 
pp. 190, 191.) 

Moslems \irinate sitting down on their heels ; " for a spray of urine 
would make hair and clothes ceremonially impure. . . . After urining, 
the Moslem wipes the os penis with one to three bits of stone, clay, or 
a handful of earth, and he must perform Wuzu before he can pray." 
Toumefort ("Voyage au Levant," vol. iii. p. 355) tells a pleasant story 
about certain Christians at Constantinople who powdered with poivre 
d'Inde the stones in a wall where the Moslems were in the habit of 
rubbing the os penis by way of wiping." — (Burton, " Arabian Nights," 
vol. ii. p. 326. Again, in footnote to p. 229, vol. iii., he says, " Scru- 
pulous ]\Ioslems scratch the ground in front of their feet with a stick, 
to prevent spraying and consequent defilement.") 

Marco Polo, in speaking of the Brahmins, says, " They ease them- 
selves in the sands, and then disperse it, hither and thither, lest it 
should breed worms, which might die for want of food." — ("Travels," 
in Pinkerton, vol. vii. pp. 164, 165.) 

Speaking of the Mahometans, Toumefort says, "When they make 
water, they squat down like women, for fear some drops of urine 
should fall into their breeches. To prevent this evil, they squeeze the 
part very carefully, and rub the head of it against the wall ; and one 
may see the stones worn in several places by this custom. To make 


themselves sport, tlie Christians smear the stoues sometimes witli 
Indian pepper and the root called * Calf s-Foot,' or some other hot 
plants, which frequently causes an inflammation in such as happen to 
use the Stone. As the pain is very smart, the poor Turks commonly 
run for a cure to those very Christian surgeons who were the authors 
of all the mischief. They never fail to tell them it is a very dan- 
gerous case, and that they should he obliged, perhaps, to make an 
amputation. The Turks, on the contrary, protest and swear that they 
liave had no communication with any sort of woman that could be 
suspected. In short, they wrap up the suffering part in a Linen 
dipped in Oxicrat tinctured with a little Bole-Armenic ; and this they 
sell them as a great specifick for this kind of Mischief." — (Tourne- 
fort, "A Voyage to the Levant," London, 1718, vol. ii. p. 49.) 

" Some of their doctors believe Circumcision was not taken from the 
Jews, but only for the better observing the Precept of Cleanness, by 
which they are forbidden to let any Urine fall upon their flesh. And 
it is certain that some drops are always apt to hang upon the Prsepu- 
tium, especially among the Arabians, with whom that skin is naturally 
much longer than in other men." — (Idem, vol. ii. p. 46.) 

The Mahometans have "Two ablutions, the great and small. . . . 
The first is of the whole body, but this is enjoined only to " those 
" who have let some larine drop upon their flesh when they have made 
water." This he enumerates among " The Three great Defilements 
of the Mussulmans." — (Idem, vol. ii. p. 48.) 

John Leo says of those "Arabians which inhabit in Barborie, or 
upon the Coast of the Mediterranean Sea. . . . Their churches they 
frequent very diligently, to the end they may repeat certain prescript 
and formall Praiers, most sperstitionsly perswading themselves that 
the same day wherein they make their praiers, it is not lawfull for 
them to wash certaine of their members, when, as at other times, they 
will wash their whole bodies." — ("Observations of Africa," in Pur- 
chas's " Pilgrims," vol. ii. p. 766.) 

" Les lieux destines k la decharge de la nature . . . sont toujours 
propres. . . . Les Turcs ne sont point assis comme nous quand ils 
sont en ces lieux-li, mais ils s'accroupissent sur le trou qui n'est re- 
levc de terre que d'un demy-pied ou d'un peu plus. . . . Les Turcs 
et tons les Mahometans en general ne se servent point de papier k de 
vils usages, et quand ils vont k ces sortes de lieux ils portent un pot 
plein d'eau pour se laver." — (J. B. Tavernier, " Relation de I'interieur 
du Sdrail du Grand Seigneur," Paris, 1675, p. 194.) 


" Nunquam Turcas seu papyro pro anisterglo uti, sed pro magno 
ipsis delicti habere, et quidem ideo, quia fortasse Nomen Dei ipsi in- 
scriptum sit vel inscribi possit, refert Thevenot, Itinerar. Orient, lib. 1, 
cap. 33, p. m. 60. Et juxta A. Bubeqv., Ep. 3, p. m. 184, Turcfc 
alvum excrementia non exonerant quia aqiiam secum poilant, qua 
partes obscenas lavent." — (Schurig, "Chylologia," Dresden, 1725, 
p. 796.) 

Rabelais has written a characteristic chapter on the expedients to 
which men resorted before the general introduction of paper for use in 
latrines; see his chapter xiii., " Anisterges." 

** Nothing could be more filthy than the state of the palace and all 
the lanes leading up to it. It was well, perhaps, that we were never 
expected to go there ; for without stilts and respirators it would have 
been impracticable, such is the filthy nature of the people. The king's 
cows even are kept in his palace enclosure, the calves actually entering 
the hut, where, like a farmer, Kamresi walks among them, up to his 
ankles in filth, and inspecting them, issues his orders concerning 
them." — (Speke, "Nile," London, 1863, vol. ii. p. 526, describing the 
palace of King Kamresi, at the head of the Nile.) 

" Shortly afterwards, a disturbance arose between some of my peo- 
ple and the natives, owing to one of my men who retired into a patch 
of cultivated ground having been discovered there by the owner. He 
demanded compensation for his land having been defiled, and had to 
be appeased by a present of cloth. If they were only half as particu- 
lar about their dwellings as their fields, it would be a good thing, for 
their villages are filthy in the extreme, and would be even worse but 
for the presence of large numbers of pigs which act as scavengers." — 
("Across Africa," Cameron, London, 1877, vol. ii. p. 200.) 

" I was disgusted with the custom which prevailed in the houses 
like that in which I was lodged, of using the terrace as a sort of closet ; 
and I had great difficulty in preventing my guide, Amer el Walati, 
who still stayed with me and made the terrace his usual residence, from 
indulging in the filthy practice." — (Dr. Henry Barth, "Travels in 
North and Central Africa," Philadelphia, 1859, p. 429, description of 

" They (the Tartars) hold it not good to abide long in one place, 
for they will say when they will curse any of their children, ' I would 
thou mightest tarry so long in one place that thou mightest smell 
thine own dung as the Christians do ; ' and this is the greatest curse 
they have." — (" Notes of Richard Johnson, servant to Master Richard 


Chancellor," in Piukerton, vol. i. p. 62. " Voyages of Sir Hugh Wil- 
loughby and others to the Northern parts of Siberia and Russia.") 

The Tungouses of Siberia told Sauer that " they knew no greater 
curse than to live in one place like a Russian or Yakut, where filth 
accumulates and fills the inhabitants with stench and disease." — (Sauer, 
" Expedition to the North parts of Russia," London, 1802, p, 49.) 

"It is a common obloquy that the Turks (who still keep the order 
of Deuteronomy for their ordure) do object to Christians that they are 
poisoned with their own dung." — (Harington, " Ajax," p. 115.) 

"The aspect of the village itself iS very neat, the ground being often 
swept befoi'e the chief houses ; but very bad odors abound, owing to 
there being under each house a stinking mud-hole, formed by all waste 
liquids and refuse matter poured down through the floor above. In 
most other* things, Malays are tolerably clean — in some scrupulously 
so — and this peculiar and nasty custom, which is almost imiversal, 
arises, I have little doubt, from their having been originally a water- 
loving and maritime people, who built their houses on posts in the 
water, and only migrated gradually inland, first up the rivers and 
streams, and then into the dr}'^ interior. 

" Habits which were once so convenient and cleanly, and which had 
been so long practised as to become a part of the domestic life of the 
nation, were of course continued when the first settlers built their 
houses inland ; and, without a regular system of drainage, the arrange- 
ment of the villages is such that any other system would bo very- 
inconvenient." — ("The Malay Archipelago," Alfred Russell Wallace, 
London, 1869, vol. i. p. 126.) 

Forster speaks of " an intolerable stench which arises from the many 
tanks dispersed in the different quarters of the town, whose waters and 
borders are appropriated to the common use of the inhabitants " 
("Sketch of the Mythology of the Hindoos," George Forster, London, 
1785, p. 7) ; but, he adds, "The filth alone which is indiscriminately 
thrown into the street." 

"There are some Guai, which . . . dawbe oner their houses with Oxe- 
dung. . . . They touch not their meat with the left hand, but use that 
hand only to wipe and other unclean offices." — (Marco Polo, in Pur- 
chas, vol. i. p. 105.) 

" Having list at any time to ease themselves, the filthy lousels had 
not the manners to withdraw themselves further from us than a Beane 
can be cast. Yea, like vile slouens, they would lay their tails in our 
presence, while they were yet talking with us." — (Friar William de 


Rubruquis, the Franciscan, sent by Saint Louis, of France (King Louis 
IX.), as ambassador to the Grand Khan of Tartary in a.d. 1235, — 
in Purchas, vol. i. p. 11.) 

" A great magnifico of Venice, being ambassador in France, and 
hearing a noble person was come to speak with him, made him stay till 
he had untied his points ; and when he was new set upon his stool, 
sent for the nobleman to come to him at that time, as a very special 
favor." — (Harington, "Ajax," p. 30.) 

" The French courtesy I spake of before came from the Eomans ; 
since in Martial's time, they shunned not one another's company at 
Monsieur Ajax." ("Ajax" as used by Harington, is a play upon the 
words "a Jakes.") — (See Harington, "Ajax," p. 38.) 

Carl Lumholtz stated to the author that the Australians urinate in 
the presence of strangers, and while talking to them. 

" II n'est fonction physiologique ou besoin naturel qu'ils aient gene k 
satisfaire en public. ' Une coutume n'a rien d'indccent quand elle est 
universelle,' remarque philosophiquement un de nos voyageurs. — (" Les 
Primitifs," Elie Reclus, Paris, 1885, p. 71, — " Les Inoits Occidentaux," 
quoting Dall.) 

Padre Gum ilia says that the Indians on the Orinoco have the same 
custom as the Jews and Turks have of digging holes with a hoe and 
covering up their evacuations. (See "Orinoco," Madrid, 1741, p. 109.) 
No such cleanliness can be attributed to the Indians of the Plains of 
North America or the nomadic tribes of the Southwest. 

"And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon ; and it shall be, 
when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt 
turn back and cover that which cometh from thee. 

"For the Lord, thy God, walketh in the midst of thy camp, to de- 
liver thee and to give up thine enemies before thee ; therefore shall 
thy camp be holy ; that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn 
away from thee." — (Deuteronomy xxiii.) 

Speaking of the Essenes, Josephus informs us : " On the seventh 
day . . . they will not even remove any vessel out of its place, nor per- 
form the most pressing necessities of nature. Nay, on other days they 
dig a small pit, a foot deep, with a paddle (which kind of hatchet is 
given them when they first are admitted among them), and, covering 
themselves round with their garment, that they may not affront the 
divine rays of light, they ease themselves into that pit. After which 
they put the earth that was dug out again into that pit. 

" And even this they do only in the most lonesome places, which they 



choose for this purpose. And it is a rule with them to wash them- 
selves afterwards, as if it were a defilement." — (" Wars of the Jews," 
edition of New York, 1821, p. 241.) 

" The Rabbinical Jews believed that every privy was the abode of an 
unclean spirit of this kind" (i. e., an excrement-eating god), " which 
could be inhaled with the breath, and descending into the lower parts 
of the body, lodge there, and thus like the Bhutas of India, bring 
suffering and disease." (Personal letter from John Frazer, Esq., LL.D., 
Sydney, New South Wales, Dec. 24, 1889.) 

In descriptions of Jerusalem, we read of the "Dung Gate," by or 
through which, all the fecal matter of the city had to be carried. — 
(See Harington, " Ajax," p. 87.) 

"When an aborigine obeys a call of nature, he always carries a 
pointed instrument with which to turn up the ground, so that his 
fecal excreta may be hidden from the keen vision of the vagabond 
Bangals." ("Bangals" are the native witches or their parallels) — 
("Aborigines of Victoria and Riverina," A. Brough-Smith, vol. i. 
p. 165.) 

The same custom has been ascribed to the Dyaks of Borneo. It is 
by no means certain that this custom had its origin in any suggestion 
of cleanliness ; on the contrary, it is fully as probable that the idea 
was to avert the maleficence of witchcraft by putting out of sight 
material the possession of which would give witches so much power 
over the former owner. 

Mr. John F. Mann confirms from personal observation that the natives 
of Australia observed the injunction given to the Hebrews in Deuter- 
onomy. "From personal observation, I can state that the natives, all 
over the country, as a rule, are particular in this matter, but it was 
many years before I ascertained the reasons for this care. Sorcery 
and witchcraft exist in every tribe ; each tribe has its 'Kooradgee ' or 
medicine-man ; the natives imagine that any death, accident, or pain, is 
caused by the evil influence of some enemy. These ' Kooradgees ' have 
the power not only of inflicting pain, but of causing all kinds of trouble. 
They are particular to always carry about with them, in a net bag, a 
'charm' which is most ordinarily made of rock crj'stal, human excre- 
ment, and kidney fat. If one of these medicine-men can obtain pos- 
session of some of the excrement of his intended victim, or some of his 
hair, in fact anything belonging to his person, it is the most easy thing 
in the world to bewitch him." — (Personal letter from John F. Mann, 
Esq., Neutral Bay, New South Wales.) 


" The disposal of excreta is not so much for the sake of cleanliness 
as to prevent any human substance from falling into the hands of an 
enemy," — (Idem.) 

Schurig devotes a long paragraph to an exposition of the views 
entertained by learned physicians in regard to the effects to be ex- 
pected from the deposition of the fecal matter upon plants that were 
either noxious or beneficial to the human organism ; in the former case, 
the worst results were to be dreaded from sympathy ; in the latter, 
only the most salutary. Rustics, in his opinion, enjoyed better health 
than the inhabitants of cities for the very peculiar reason that the 
latter evacuated in latrines and in the act were compelled to inhale the 
deleterious gases emanating from the foul deposits already accumulated ; 
whereas the countryman could go out to a comfortable place in the 
fields and evacuate without the danger and inconvenience to which the 
urban population were subject. 

But he takes occasion to warn his readers that they must be care- 
ful not to defecate upon certain malignant herbs which might be the 
cause of virulent dysentery. ''Prseterea cavendum est ne feces supra 
herbas raalignas exulcerantes sive violenter purgantes deponamus hinc 
enim causa latente dysanteria periculosa inducitur quae vix nisi herbis 
prorsus putrefactis ullis medicamentis cedit." — (" Chylologia," p. 792, 
paragraph 66.) 

Colonel Garrick Mallery, United States Army, reports having met 
with people of respectability and intelligence in the mountainous parts 
of Virginia who hold the same views upon the subject of latrines. 

" Ye great ones, why will ye disdain 
To pay your tribute on the plain ? 
Why will you place in lazy pride ? 
When from the homeliest earthenware 
Are sent up offerings more sincere 
Than where the haughty Duchess locks 
Her silver vase in cedar box." 

(Dean Swift.) 

" Si une bhikshuni jette des excrements sur I'herbe croissante, c'est 
un pacittiya, etc." — (" Pratimoksha Sutra," translated by W. W, 
Rockhill, Paris, 1884. Soc. Asiatique.) These bhikshuni are the 
nuns of Thibet, and the word " pacittiya " means a sin. 

The following beastly practices are related of the Capuchins : "Tu- 
nica replicata, absque impedimento cacat et mingit, anum fune abster- 


git." — (Fosbroke, "British Monachisra," quoting "Specimen Mon- 

There are no latrines of any kind in Angola, West Africa ; the ne- 
groes believe that it is very vile to frequent the same place for such 
I)urposes. They do not cover up their excrements, but deposit them 
out in the bushes. Sometimes it happens that a man will defecate 
inside the house, in which case he will be laughed at all the rest of his 
life, and be called " D'Kombe," which is a kind of leopard. — (" Mu- 
hongo," an African boy, translation by Rev. Mr. Chatelain.) 

The following is the epigram of Martial "ad Furium" ; — 

" A te sudor abest, abest saliva, 
Mucusque et pituita mala nasi, 
Hunc ad munditiem adde muiuliorem. 
Quod cuius tibi purior salillo est, 
Nee toto decies cacas in anno ; 
Atque id durius est faba et lapillis. 
Quod tu si manibus teras fricesque, 
Nou unquam digitum inquiuare possis." 

The Hon. John F. Finerty called public attention to the fact that 
in the city of Mexico, ten years ago, beggars of the vilest caste in- 
variably made a practice of defecating upon the marble steps of the 
main entrance to the grand cathedral. 

Dr. J. H. Porter states that in some parts of the Mexican republic 
the women come out in front of their doors to urinate ; the author has 
seen them doing this, and also defecating in the streets of Tucson, at 
that time the capital of Arizona ; he has seen the same practice in 
several of the smaller hamlets of that territory and Sonora and Ne^7 
Mexico, but always at night. 

The Mexicans living on our side of the border never constructed 
privies for their dwellings, a custom perhaps derived from Spain, where 
we have seen that even in Madrid the construction of such conveniences 
was unknown until after the middle of the last century. 


The Apache men in micturating always squat down, while the women, 
on the contrary, always stand up. Giraldus Cambreusis says of the Irish : 
" Prseterea, viri in hac gente sedendo, mulieres stando, urinas emittunt." 
— ("Opera," edited by James Dimock, and published under the direc- 
tion of the Master of the Rolls, London, 1867, vol. v. p. 172.) 

The author has seen an Italian woman of the lower class urinating 


in this manner in the street near San Pietro in Vinculis, Rome, in open 
daylight, iu 1883. 

French women were to be seen in the streets of Paris urinating while 
standing over gutters. — (Mr. W. W. Rockhill.) 

" Among the Turks, it is an heresy, to p — s standing," — (Harington, 
"Ajax," iu the chapter "Ulysses upon Ajax," p. 43.) 

The Egyptian " women stand up when they make water, but the men 
sit dowH." — (Herodotus, " Euterpe," p. 35.) 

Air. Carl Lumholtz (author of *' Among Cannibals," New York, 1889) 
also stated that the Australian men squatted while urinating; the 
women generally stood erect, but upon this point he was not quite 

" Mantegazza, in his * Gli amori degli uoraini,' describing the opera- 
tion of splitting the male urethra, practised among Australian tribes, 
remarks: *To urinate, they squat down like our women, lifting the 
penis slightly. It appears that, on the contrary, Australian women 
urinate standing.* (He is apparently quoting from Michluchs-Maclay.) 
Among the Kaffirs, etc., at the Cape, the usual practice, I understand, 
does not differ from ours." — (Personal letter from Havelock Ellis, Esq., 
editor of the Contemporary Science series, dated Red Hill, Surrey, Oct. 8, 
1889. From this gentleman there was also received much matter of a 
most valuable character, from the early English dramatists, travellers, 
and others, which has been already quoted from these sources direct.) 

" Behold the strutting Amazonian whore ! 
She stands in guard, with her right foot before : 
Her coat tucked up, and all her motions just, 
She stamps, and then cries, ' Hah ! ' at every thrust. 
But laugh to see her, tired from many a bout, 
Call for the pot, and like a man piss out." 

(Juvenal, Satire VI., Dryden's translation.) 

The Thibetan nuns are forbidden to adopt certain postures, as are 
the monks. 

" 110, 111. Ne pas se soulager debout, n'etant pas malade, est une 
regie qu'on doit apprendre." — (" Pratimoksha Sutra," translated by 
W. W. Rockhill, Paris, 1884, Soc. Asiatique.) 

" wiEsop, that great man, saw his master make water as he walked. 
' What ! ' said he ; * must we, then, dung as we walk V " — (Planudus, 
quoted by Montaigne, " Essays," Hazlitt's translation, New York, 1859, 
vol. iii. p. 467.) 

The lazzaroni of Naples are more filthy in all these respects than the 


wildest Maori, Bedouin, or Apache Indian, as the author can assert 
from disagreeable personal observation. 

"It can be justly said that the inhabitants of Cadiack, if we except 
the women during their monthly periods and their lying-in, have not 
the least sense of cleanliness. They will not go a step out of the way 
for the most necessary purposes of nature ; and vessels are placed at 
their very doors for the reception of the urinous fluid, which are re- 
sorted to alike by both sexes." — (Lisiansky, " Voyages," p. 214, quoted 
also in Bancroft's "Native Eaces of the Pacific Slope," vol. i. p. 81.) 

" Par suite des ordures et du manque d'air, I'interieur des huttea 
repand une puanteur presque insupportable." — (" Les Primitifs/' Elie 
Keclus, Paris, 1885, " Les Inoits Orientaux.") 

Old women in Switzerland urinate standing, especially in cold 
weather. — (Rev. Mr. Chatelain, himself a native of Switzerland, and 
now a Protestant missionary in Angola, Western Africa.) 

The men of Angola, Africa, urinate standing ; the women of the 
same tribes urinate standing, as a general thing, although there are 
some exceptions. It should be remembered that the Jesuits have had 
missions in that region for two hundred years, and some effect upon 
the ideas of the people, due to these ministrations as well as to the 
occupancy of the country by the Portuguese, should be perceptible. 

Gomara says of the Indians of Nicaragua : " Mean todos do les toma 
la gana — ellos en cuclillas y ellas en pie." — (" Historia de las Indias," 
p. 283.) 

The Mojaves of the Rio Colorado follow the same rule as the 

In Ounalashka, the houses are divided by partitions. " Each parti- 
tion has a particular wooden reservoir for the urine, which is used 
both for dyeing the grass and for washing the hands, but after cleans- 
ing the latter in this manner, they rince them in pure water." — 
(Sarytschew, in ''Phillip's Voyages," London, 1807, vol. vi. p. 72.) 

Dr. Porter communicates the information that he has often heard 
the Arctic explorer Dr. Hayes speak of the propensity of the Eskimo 
of the east coast of Greenland to use the trench to the hut as a latrine. 
He tried in vain to prevent this practice among his Eskimo attendants, 
but believed that they had a pride among themselves in leaving con- 
spicuous traces of their presence. 

For urinals among the Eskimo, see also notes from Egede, Egede 
Saabye, and Richardson, under " Industries," in this volume. 

" Neither is it lawfull for any one to rise from the table to make 


water ; but for this purpose tlie daughter of the house, or another maid 
or woman, attendeth always at the table, watchfull if any one beckon 
to them ; to him that beckoneth shee gives the chamber-pott under 
the table with her owne hands ; the rest in the meanwhile grunt like 
swine least any noise bee heai'd. The water being poured out, hee 
washeth the bason, and offereth his services to him that is willing ; 
and he is accounteth uncivill who abhorreth this fashion." — (Dittmar 
Bleecken's " Voyage to Iceland and Greenland," a. d. 15Go, in Purchas, 
vol. i. pp. 63G-647.) 

Steller's account shows that in his time the people of Kamtchatka 
had no regular water-closets. 

" The dogs steal food whenever they can, and even eat their straps. 
In their pi-esence no one is able to ease nature without the protection 
of a club for the purpose of keeping them at a distance. As soon as 
he leaves, the dogs rush to the spot, and under much snarling and 
snapping each seeks to grasp the deposit." — (Steller, translated by 

In the Eskimo myths there is the story of the Eskimo boy, an or- 
jjhan, who was abused by being made to carry out of the hut the large 
urine vessel. This would indicate a certain antiquity for the employ- 
ment of these vessels. — (See " The Central Eskimo," Franz Boas, iu 
" Sixth Annual Eeport," Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, D. C, 
1888, p. 631.) 

In the city of Bogota, Colombia, South America, the lower classes 
urinate openly in the streets ; in the city of Mexico, the same practice 
prevailed until recently. 

In "The Snake Dance of the Moquis of Arizona," the author had 
something to say touching the practice of the Moquis, Zuiiis, and 
others of the Pueblo tribes, of collecting urine in vessels of earthenware ; 
this was for the purpose of saving the fluid for use in dyeing the wool 
of which their blankets and other garments were to be made. It was 
noticed, however, that a particular place was assigned for such emer- 
gencies as might arise when the ordinary receptacles might not be 
within reach. Thus, in the town of Hualpi (on the eastern mesa in 
the northeast corner of the Territory of Arizona), one of the corners 
had been in such constant use, and for so long a time that the stream 
percolating down from the wall had eroded a channel for itself in the 
friable sandstone flooring, which would serve to demonstrate that the 
place had been so dedicated for a very extended number of years. 

Latrines of some sort would seem to have been in use among the 


natives of Australia, if we are to interpred literally the expression em- 
ployed by A. Brough Smyth, which see under " Myths " in this volume. 
The Tonga Islanders, in the mortuary ceremonies of their great chiefs, 
are stated to have had thera (see under " Mortuary Ceremonies " in 
this volume). 

Carl Lumholtz did not observe latrines of any kind among such of 
the Australians as he visited. 

Among the Chinese " it is usual for the princes, and even the people, 
to make water standing. Persons of dignity, as well as the vice-kings, 
and the principal officers, have gilded canes, a cubit long, which are 
bored through, and these they use as often as they make water, stand- 
ing upright all the time ; and by this means the tube carries the water 
to a good distance from them.^ They are of opinion that all pains in 
the kidneys, the strangury, and even the stone, are caused by making 
water in a sitting posture ; and that the reins cannot free themselves 
absolutely of these humors but by standing to evacuate ; and that thus 
this posture contributes exceedingly to the i:)reservation of health." — 
("The Travels of Two Mahometans through India and China," in 
Pinkerton, vol. vii. p. 215.) 

The Persian " must not pray before an overhanging wall, or in a 
room where there is a pot de chambre." — (Benjamin, '' Persia," Lon- 
don, 1887, p. 444, quoting from the Shahr.) 

In the Hawaiian Islands, if a man's shadow fall on a chief, the man 
is put to death. — (See " The Golden Bough," Frazer, vol. i. p. 190.) 

" These natives (East Siberia) always preserve for use in their do- 
mesticity the urine of the whole f^xmily ; it is preserved in a large tub 
or half-barrel, procured from the whale-ships or found in the drift that 
comes upon their shores. They use the warm water from their bodies 
for cleansing their bodies ; the rim that gathers round the high-water 
mark of their cess-pool is used for smearing their bodies to kill the 
vermin. . . . The habits of these people are beastly in the extreme. 
. . . They seemed to have no aversion whatever to close contact with 
the feces of men or animals." — (Personal letter of Chief Engineer 
Melville, U. S. Navy, to Captain Bourke.) 

Van Stralenberg says of the "Koraiiki" (Koraks) : "For their nec- 
essary occasions they make use of a tub, which they have with them 
in the hut, and when full they carry it out, and make use of the same 

^ This recalls the repugnance of the Mahometans to the spray of urine touching 
their persons or clothing, as already indicated. 


tub to bring in water for other occasions." — ( "Ilistori-Geographical 
Description of the North and East Parts of Europe and Asia," p. 397.) 

By referring to page 390 of this volume, it will be seen that the 
Lapps, upon breaking camp, made it a point to burn the dung of their 
reindeer in cases where any of those animals had died of disease ; while 
it is also related that immigrants to California from the States of Mis- 
souri and Arkansas, for some reason not understood, had the singular 
custom of burning their own excrement in the camp-fire. 

"When they ease themselves, they commonly go in the morning unto 
the Towne's end, where there is a place purposely made for them, that 
they may not bee seene, so also because men passing by should not bo 
molested with the smell thereof. They also esteeme it a bad thing that 
men should ease themselves upon the ground, and therefore they make 
houses which are borne up above the ground, wherein they ease them- 
selves upon the ground, and every time they do it they wipe ; or else 
they goe to the water's side to ease themselves in the sand ; and when 
the Priuie houses are full, they set fire to them, and let them burn to 
ashes ; they pisse by jobs as dogs doe, and not all at one time." — 
(Master Richard Jobson, a. d. 1620, "Gold Coast of Africa," in Pur- 
chas, vol. ii. p. 932.) 




"PRECISELY what ceremonial observances the ritual of Bel-Phegor 
"^ demanded of the suppUant at his shrine is not hkely ever to be 
known. It would be worse than useless to attempt in a treatise of this 
kind to affirm or deny the existence of the obscene usages alleged to 
have formed part of his worship ; sufficient, at this moment, to lay be- 
fore reflecting minds testimony on both sides of the question, with 
reasons for the belief that flatulence could be presented as an ob- 
lation, with examples of quaint customs which may partake of the 
nature of "survivals " from religious ceremonies of a nature not far 
removed from those supposed to have been associated with the rites of 

Well has an old author remarked : " Men have lost their reason in 
nothing so much as their religion, wherein stones and clouts make 
martyrs ; and since the religion of one seems madness to another, to 
afford an account or rational of old rites requires no rigid reader." — 
(Sir Thomas Browne, "Religio Medici," edition of Boston, 1868, p. 329, 
article "Urn-Burial.") 

*' Le Pet etait une divinite des anciens Egyptiens ; elle etait la per- 
sonification d'une fonction naturelle. On la figurait par un enfant ac- 
croupi qui semble faire effort, et on peut en voir la representation dans 
les ouvrages d'antiquite. Le poeme Calotin, intitule le Conseil de 
Momus (voyez aux Polygraphes) doune, centre la pnge 19, deux figures 
de ce dieu. L'une etait en cornaliue de trois couleurs ; I'autre en terre 
cuite, se trouvait dans le cabinet du Marquis de Cospy, et la figure en 
a ^te donnee dans le Museum Cospianum. L'auteur de la Dissertation 
sur nn ancien Usage (voyez le numcro 18) conteste que ces figurines 
se rapportant au Crepitus, et croit qu'elles ont ete inventdes dans un 
but plus solide. 


" C'est de Minutius Felix que nous vient la reconnaissance du Crepitus, 
qui, lors meme qu'il aurait ete celebre reelleraeut en Egypte, n'etait 
peut-etre qu'uue caricature imaginee par les plaisants du jour. Menage 
cependant afl&rme que les Pelusiens adoraient le Pet ; il dit que Baude- 
lot en a donne la preuve dans les editions de son premier vol., et qu'il 
en possedait una figure. (Voy. Menagiana, 1693, no. 397. St. Jerome 
dit la meme chose sur Isaie, xiii. 46. Voy. encore Klotz, act. litter, t. 
v., premiere partie, 1, Elmenhorst sur TOctavius de Minutius Felix; 
Mythol. de Banier, t. 1; Montfaucon, TAntiquite expliquee,' t. iii. 
part 2, p. 336.) 

" Quelques antiquaires ont cru pouvoir identifier le dieu Crepitus des 
Romains avec Bel-Phegor, Baal-Phegor ou Baal-Peor, dieu Syrien, — 
Phegor, assure-t-on, ayant ce sens en Hebreu. (Origeu contra Celsus ; 
Minutius Felix.) Mais, sur cette derniere divinite les savants sout fort 
peu d'accord. 

"Origene, St. Jerome, Salomon Ben Jarchi, lui donnent une significa- 
tion qui la rendrait tout a fait iudigue de figurer dans notre catalogue ; 
mais Maimonide (Moge Nevoch, cap. 46) et Salom. Ben Jarchi (Com- 
ment. 3, sur Nomb. ch. 25) pretendent que son culte etait plus sale que 
obscene, et les traducteurs de ces rabbins pour exprimer le principal de- 
tail des ceremonies ce'lebrees en I'honneur du dieu de Syrie, disent ; 
'Distendere coram eo foramen podicis et stercus offerre.' 

" Ajoutez que les pets etaient de bon augure chez les Grecs, de mau- 
yais augure chez les Eomains. — (Voy. Scaliger, Auson.) 

" No one now supposes that the Rabbins had anything but their 
imaginations to go on in what they say about Baal-Peor ; they invented 
the story as a fanciful etymology of the name." ^ — (Personal letter 
from Prof W. Robertson Smith to Captain Bourke.) 

* Bel-Peor. " Very little is really known of the nature of his worship, but it 
is an almost universal opinion, which appears to be sustained by Numbers xxv., 
that it was licentious in its character. Human sacrifice appears to have been 
offered to him ; and it is conjectured, from Psalms cvi. 28, that the worshippers ate 
of the victims that had been offered to him." — (" Dictionary of Religious Knowl- 
edge," Abbott and Conant, New York, 1875, article "Baal and Baal-Peor.") 

'* In a story of Armagnac, Joan lou Pec runs after a man whom he believes 
to be a sage, and asks him when he will die. The man answers : ' Joan lou Pec 
mauriras au troisieme pet de toun ase,' — The ass breaks wind twice, and the fool 
endeavors to prevent the third flatus. • Cop sec s'en angone cerca un pan (stake) 
bien pounchut et I'enfouncee das un martet dans lou cou de I'ase. Mes I'ase s'en- 
flee tant, e hascouc tant gran effort que lou pau sourtisconc commo no balo e tuec 
lou praube Joan lou Pec.'" — (" Contes et Proverbes Populaires," recueillis eu 


Citations have already been made from the Bibliotheca Scatologica, 
a curious collectioa of learning, no name and no place of publication of 
which can be found, but which seems to have been printed by Giraudet 
et Jouaust, 315 Rue Saint Honore, Paris, granting that this title be not 
fictitious. lu that work are to be seen the titles of no less than one 
hundred and thirty-three treatises upon Flatulence, some grotesque, 
some coarse, one or two of quaint erudition. 

No. 88, entitled " Eloge du Pet, dissertation historique, anatomique 
et philosophique sur son origiue, son antiquite, ses vertus, sa figure, 
les houueurs qu'on lui a rcndus chez les peuplcs auciens, etc. ; avec 
une figure representant le dieu Pet, et cette inscription : Crcpitui vcn- 
tris conservatori deo propitio (p. 38)," the stupendous work of Sclop- 
etarius, No. Ill, of the Dibliotheca (Frankfort, 1G28) seems to have 
been a monumental labor upon a subject not generally dissected. 
The same remark maybe applied to " Physiologia crepitus ventris" 
of Rod. Goclenius, Frankfort and Leipsic, 1607, No. 123 of the 

The earliest known work upon this curious topic is " Le plaisant 
deuis du Pet," Paris, 1540. 

" Origen saith the name Baal-Peor significth filtliiness, but what 
filthiness he knew not ; Salomon Ben Jarchi writeth they offered to 
him ordure, placing before his mouth the likeness of that place which 
Nature hath made for egestion." — (Purchas, vol. v. p. 85.) 

A reference to the work of Bel-Phegor is to be found in the fol- 
lowing couplet from a book entitled " Conseil de Momus : " — 

" La deuxieme moitie du premier chant est consacrce 

'A certains vents coulis 
Jadis adores a Meujphis.' " — (Bib. Scat., p. 7.) 

"The antient Pelusi^ns, a people of lower Egypt, did (amongst 
other whimsical, chimerical objects of veneration and worship) venerate 
a Fart, which they worshipped under the symbol of a swelled i)aunch." 
— (" A View of the Levant," Charles Perry, M. D., sm. fol., London, 
1743, p. 419. 

Armagnac, par J. F. Blade, Paris, quoted by Angelo do Gubernatis, "Zocil. Mytliol.," 
vol. i. pp. 397, 398.) 

The reader will please look under the heading of " Myths " in this volume, and 
will there see a similar adventure related of the Eskimo, or rather the Kamtchatkan, 
god Eutka. 

"Wherefore my bowels shall sound like a harp for Moab, and mine inward parts 
for Kir-haresli." — (Isaiah xvi. 11.) 


"Time has preserved to us a figure of this ridiculous Divinity, 
which represents a very young cliild in the posture of that indecent 
action whence this god has his name." — (Abl)e Banier, " Mythology," 
English translation, 1740, vol. ii. pp. 52 et seq.) ^ 

"Their Beetle-gods out of their privies; yea, their Privies and 
Farts had their unsavorie canonization and went for Egyptian deities. 
. . . So, Hierome derideth their dreadfuU deitie, the Onion, and a 
stinking Fart, Crepitus ventris inflati que Pelusiaco religio est, which 
they worshipped at Pelusium." — (Purchas, vol. v. p. 641.) 

It may be well to bear in mind that the heathen idea of the power 
of a god was entirely different from our own. The deities of the hea- 
then were restricted in their powers and functions ; they were assigned 
to the care of certain countries, districts, valleys, rivers, fountains, etc. 
Not only that, they were capable of aiding only certain trades, pro- 
fessions, etc. They were not able to cure all diseases, only particular 
kinds, each god being a specialist ; consequently, each was supposed 
to take charge of a section of the human body. This was the case 
with the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and others. In mediaeval times 
the same rule obtained, only in place of gods, we find saints assigned 
to these functions. Brand, Pop. Antiq. vol. i. p. 356, et seq., gives a 
list of the saints, and the functions ascribed to each. On page 366 of 
the work just cited, it will be seen that Saint Ei-asmus was in charge 
of " the belly, with the entrayles." Keeping this in view, we can 
better understand the peculiar ceremonies connected with the worship 
of Bel-Phegor; he was, no doubt, the deity to whom the devotee 
resorted for the alleviation of ailments connected with the rectum and 
belly, much as he would, at a later date in the history of religion, 
have invoked Saint Phiacre to relieve him "of the phy or emeroids, of 
those especially which grow in the fundament." (See in Brand, loc. 
cit. p. 362.) On the same principle that the worshipper was wont to 
hang up in the temples of Esculapius wax and earthen representations 
of the sore arms, legs, and other members which gave him pain, the 

1 "The Eskimo call the better being ' Torngarsuk.' They don't all agree about 
liis form or aspect. Some say he has no form at all ; others describe him as a 
great bear, or as a great man with one arm, or as small as a finger. He is immortal, 
but might be killed by the intervention of the god Crepitus. ' — ("Myth, Ritual, 
and Religion," Andrew Lang, London, 1887, vol. ii. p. 48.) A footnote to the 
above adds, "The circumstances in which this is possible may be sought for in 
Crantz, 'History of Greenland,' London, 1767, vol. i. p. 206." 

Crantz saj's of Torngarsuk : "He is immortal, and yet might be killed, if any 
one breaks wind in a house where witchcraft is carrying on." — (Crantz, as above.) 


worshipper of Bel-Phegor would offer him the sacrifice of the flatulence 
and excreraeut, testimonies of the good health for which gratitude was 
due to the older deity. 

•'The Egyptians divided the human body into thirty-six parts, each 
of which they believed to be under the particular government of one 
of the decans or aerial demons who presided over the triple divisions 
of the twelve signs ; and we have the authority of Origeu for saying 
that when any part of the body was diseased, a cure was efFected by 
invoking the demon to whose province it belonged." — ("Medical 
Superstitions," Pettigrew, Philadelphia, 1844, p. 47.) 

The ascription of particular signs of the Zodiac to the care of 
different members of the human anatomy is in line with the same 
religious idea ; because the signs of the Zodiac, especially the Animal 
signs, were once Animal Gods. 

Hone, in his " Evevy-Day Book/' has a therapeutical hagiology, too 
long to be here repeated. 

" Melton says, ' The saints of the Eomanists have usurped the place 
of the Zodiacal constellations in their governance of the parts of man's 
body,* and that 'for every limb they have a saint.' Thus Saint 
" Erasmus rules the belly with the entrayles in the place of Libra and 
Scorpius." — ("Medical Superstitions," Pettigrew, Philadelphia, 1844, 
p. d4.) Next follows a long list of saints, with the particular functions 
assigned to each, beginning first with the list to be found in Hone, 
which Pettigrew extends. — (" Saint Giles and Saint Hyacinth against 
Sterility," idem, pp. 55, 5G.) 

" In later times, according to Herodotus, a particular and minute 
division of labor characterized the Egyptians ; the science of medicine 
was distributed into different parts ; every physician was for one dis- 
ease, not more ; so that every place was full of physicians, for some 
were doctors for the eyes, others for the head ; some for the teeth, 
others for the belly ; and some for occult disorders. There were also 
physicians for female disorders. The sons followed the professions of 
their fathers, so that their numbers must necessarily have been very 
great." — (Idem, p. 44.) 

As the Egyptian priests were the doctors of that country, it is per- 
fectly in accord with the eternal fitness of things that we should find 
them, even after they had been differentiated into different professions, 
restricted to the treatment of special diseases, much as the gods whom 
the priests once represented had been restricted.* 

i Among the Chinese and Hindus an identical partition of responsibility will be 
found ascnbed to the deities. It wotild require a special disquisition to enumerate 


"The art of medicine is thus divided among them (Egyptians). 
Each physician applies himself to one disease only and not more. All 

these gods and their functions, so far as known to us, but such an enumeration 
would do no good, because the accuracy of the statement will be admitted without 

A clipping from the "Times," of India, copied in the "Sunday Herald," of 
Washington, D. C, June 2, 1889, bears upon this point : 

" The general public are not aware of a ludicrous custom still followed in Hindu 
households of Bengal. The last day of Falgoon, that fell on the 12th ultimo, was 
observed in worshipping Ghantoo, the god of itches and the diseases of the skin 
which afflict the natives. Very early in the morning of the day the mistresses of 
the families, changing their nocturnal attire, put a useless, black earthen vessel 
outside the threshold of their back doors, with a handful of rice and masoor dal, 
four cowries, with a piece of rag smeared with turmeric. Wild flowers appearing 
in this season are offered in worship. (These flowers are called Ghantoo fool.) The 
young boys of the family stand in a semicircle before the mistress, with cudgels in 
their hands. When the conches are sounded by the female worshippers, as the sig- 
nal of the poojah being over, the boys break the vessels into atoms. The mirthful 
children, in their anxiety to strike the first blow, sometimes break the fingers and 
hands of the matrons. The piece of rag is preserved over the doors of houses in 
the zenana. In the evening of the da^', the boys of the lower order of the villages 
sing the songs of the occasion from door to door for pice.'' 

Although the adoration of Flatulence cannot be found among the Chinese, 
religious customs equally revolting have been ascribed to them. "The Chinese 
are addicted to the abominable vice of Sodomy, and the filthy practice of it they 
number among the indifferent things they perform in honor of their idols." — 
("The Travels of Two Mahomedans through India and China," in Pinkerton, 
vol. vii. p. 19.5.) These Mahomedans travelled in the ninth century. 

"The negroes of Guinea have a god of the small-pox." See "Fetichism," by 
Father P. Baudin, New York, 1885, p. 74. 

According to the Guinea negroes, " Every man has three genii, or protecting 
spirits. The first is Eleda, who dwells in the head, which he guides. . . . This 
second genius (Ojehun) has his habitation in the region of the stomach. . . . 
Ipori, the third protecting genius, takes up his abode in the great toe." — (Idem, 
p. 43.) 

"The Samoans supposed disease to be occasioned by the wrath of some partic- 
ular deity. . . . The friends of the sick went to the high priest of the village. 
. . . Each disease had its particular physician." — (Turner, " Samoa," London, 
1884, p. 140.) See, in this connection, Banier's "Mythology," English transla- 
tion, vol. i. p. 196, et seq. 

" They (the ancients) had gods and goddesses for all the necessaries of our life, 
from our cradles to our graves; viz., 1. for sucking; 2. for swathing; 3. for 
eating ; 4. for drinking ; 5. for sleeping ; 6. for husbandry ; 7. for venery ; 8. for 
fighting ; 9. for physic ; 10. for marriage ; 11. for child-bed ; 12. for fire ; 13. for 
water; 14. for the thresholds; 15. for the chimneys." — (Harington, "Ajax," 
P- 27.) 

Consult, for the Chaldeans, " The Chaldean Account of Genesis," George Smith, 


places abound in physicians ; some physicians are for the eyes, others 
for the teeth, others for the parts about the belly, aud others for inter- 
nal disorders." — (Herodotus, "Euterpe," p. 82.) 

Hone shows that every joint of the fingers was dedicated to some 
saint. — (See his " Every-Day Book," vol. ii. p. 48.) 

" But, under the venerated name of Hermes, were issued books of 
astronomical forecasts of diseases, setting forth the evil influence of 
malignant stars upon the unborn ; telling how the right eye is under 
the sun, the left under the moon, the hearing under Saturn, the brain 
under Jupiter, the tongue and throat under Mercury, smelling and 
tasting under Venus, the parts that have blood under Mars. . . . The 
early centuries ne.\t after the Christian era produced a rank crop of 
literary forgeries." — (See "Saxon Leechdoms," voh iii. pp. 11, 12.) 

"The New Zcalanders gave a separate deity to each part of the 
body." — C' Folk-Medicine," Black, p. 11.) 

The interview between Moses and Jehovah, where the latter refused 
to allow the prophet to see the glory of his face, but made him content 
himself with a view of his posterior, indicates that the sacred writers of 
the earlier periods were living in an atmosphere of thought whicli 
accepted all such ideas as those surrounding the Bel-Phcgorian 

The Hebrews believed that Jehovah should be propitiated with 
sweet savors :^ "Offer up a sweet savor unto the Lord." Bel-Phegor 
aud other deities of the gentiles, who were the gods of particular parts 
of the human body, w'ould, in all probability, be pleased with oblations 
coming especially from that particular part; thus, the god of Hunting 

New York, 1880, pages 11 and 125. Dibbara, the god of ppstilence, has the title 
of "The Darkening One," which recalls the passage in Psalm xci. 6, "The pes- 
tilence that walketh in darkness." . . . "Each of the Babylonian gods had 
a particular city." (Idem, p. 46.) "The Chaldeans had twelve great gods." 
(Idem, p. 47.) See, also, "Chaldean lilagic," Lenormant, 35. It was written of 
the deceased (EgA'ptian), "There is not a limb of him without a god." ("Ritual 
of the Dead," cap. xliii., idem.) See "Le Moyen Age Medicale," Dupouy, for the 
list of saints and shrines to cure all afflictions, in Europe, Minor's translation, 
]). 83. Those possessed claimed to be in the power of a demon, who entered their 
body by one of the natural passages, sporting with their persons. (Idem, p. 50.) 
The Church recognized the truth of these beliefs (idem, p. 40) ; see, also, notes 
taken from Turner's "Samoa." 

1 These ideas remained among the early Christians : "an odor of a sweet smell ; 
a sacrifice, acceptable, well-pleasing to God." — (Phil. iv. 18.) 

So, among the Chaldeans : "The gods smelt the savor, the gods smelt the good 
savor." — ("Chaldean Account of Genesis," Smith, p. 286.) 


had offerings of game ; the gods of the Seas had sacrifices of fish ; babies 
were offered to the deities of Childbirth; therefore the gods of the 
fundament should, naturally, be regaled with excrement and flatulence. 

Haringtou calls attention to David's prophecy in the 77th Psalm : 
" Percussit iuimicos suos in posteriores, opprobium sempiternum dedit 
illis." " He smote his enemies in the hinder parts and put them to a 
perpetual shame." — (" Ajax," p. 25.) 

The absence of unity is the characteristic of all primitive forms of 
religious thought ; hence, the various differentiations mentioned above 
occur as a matter of religious necessity. 

Among the practices prohibited by the Taoist religion : " A man 
must not sing and dance on the last day of the moon. . . . Must not 
weep, spit, or be guilty of other indecency towards the ]S'orth." — 
(Legge, "Religions of China," p. 187.) 

The Parsis have a curious idea suggestive of the Hebrew antagon- 
ism to the worship of Bel-Phegor : "14. The rule is that when one re- 
tains a prayer inwardly and wind shall come from below, or wind shall 
come from the mouth, it is all one." (Shayast la Shayast, Max Miiller's 
edition, Oxford, 1880, cp. x. verse 14, p. 221. A footnote explains: 
" Literally, ' both are one,' that is, in either case the spell of the vag or 
prayer is broken.") 

"The Bedawi, who eructates as a matter of civility, has a mortal 
hatred to a crepitus ventris ; and were a by-stander to laugh at its 
accidental occurrence, he would be at once cut down as a 'pundonor.' 
The same is the custom among the Highlanders of Afghanistan. And 
its artificial nature suggests direct derivation ; for the two regions are 
separated by a host of tribes, Persians and Beloch, who utterly ignore 
the pundoner and behave like Europeans. The raids of the pre-Ish- 
maelitish Arabs over the lands lying to the northeast of them are 
almost forgotten ; still, there are traces, and this may be one of them." 
— (Burton, "Arabian Nights," vol. v. p. 137.) 

According to Niebuhr, the voiding of wind is considered to be the 
gravest indecency among the Arabs ; some tribes make a perpetual butt 
of the offender once guilty of such an infraction of decorum ; the Bel- 
ludjages, upon the frontiers of Persia, expel the culprit from the tribe. 
Yet Niebuhr himself relates that a sheik of the tribe " Montesids " once 
had a contest of this kind among his henchmen, "avoit autoris^ un defi 
dans ce genre entre ses domestiques et couronne le vainqueur." (Nie- 
buhr, "Description de I'arabie," Amsterdam, 1774, p. 27.) Snoring 
and Flatulence would seem to have been considered equally offensive 



by the Tartars. See Marco Polo's reference to the mode of selecting 
wives for the Grand Khau (in Purchas, vol. i. p. 82). He says that the 
Grand Khan puts those deemed to be eligible under the care of " his 
Barons' wives," " to see if they snore not in their sleepe, if in smell or 
behaviour they bee not offensive." 

" Yet it is holden a shame with them to let a fart, at which they 
wondered in the Hollanders, esteeming it a contempt." — (" Xegroes 
of Guinea," Purchas, vol. v. p. 718.) 

On the Gold Coast of Africa, the negroes "are very careful not to 
let a fart, if anybody be by them; they wonder at our Netherlanders 
that use it so commonly, for they cannot abide that a man should fart 
before them, esteeming it to be a great shame and contempt done unto 
them." — (Master Richard Jobson, a. d. 1620, in Purchas, vol. ii. p. 93G.) 
In the Prussian sect of dissenters called the "Bezpopovtsi," "during the 
service of Holy Thursday, certain of them, known as * gapers ' or 
'yawners,' sit for hours with their mouths wide open, waiting for min- 
istering angels to quench their spiritual thirst from invisible chalices." 
— (Heard, " Russian Church and Russian Dissent," pp. 200, 201.) 

Bastian, in "AUerlei aus Volks-und-Menschenkunde " (vol. i. p. 9), 
quotes from Kubary, "Religion of the Pelew Islands," to the effect 
that in cases of death, the vagina, urethra, rectum, nostrils, and all 
other orifices of the body are tightly closed with the fibres of certain 
roots or sponge, to prevent the escape of any of the liquids of the body, 
which seem to be of some use to the spirit of the deceased. — (Con- 
tributed in a Personal letter from Dr. Gatchett of the Bureau of Eth- 
nology, Washington, D. C.) 

In Wallachia, " No mode of execution is more disgraceful than the 
gallows. The reason alleged is that the soul of a man with a rope 
round his neck, cannot escape from his mouth." — (Maltebrun, "Uni- 
versal Geography," Boston, 1847, vol. ii. p. 458, article "Hungary.") 

" The soul is commonly supposed to escape by the natural openings 
of the body, especially the mouth and nostrils." — (Frazer, "The Gol- 
den Bough," vol. i. p. 125.) 

" Caton appliquait k I'objet d'un de nos chapitres ; ' Nullum mihi 
vitium facit.' . . . C'est ce que disait Caton lorsq'un de ses esclaves 
petoit en sa presence." — (Bib. Scat., "Oratio pro Guano Humane," 
p. 21.) 

In Angola, West Coast of Africa, flatulence is freely permitted 
among the natives, but any license of this kind, taken while strangers 
are in the vicinity, is regarded as a most deadly insult. — (" Mo- 


hongo," an African boy from Angola; interpretation by Rev. Mr. 

The poet Horace " a consacre plusieurs vers an sujet qui nous occupe. 
On peut voir particulierement la Satire VIII. qui coutient le passage 
suivaut : — 

" ' Mentior, at si quid merdis caput inquiner albis 

Corvorum, atque in me veniat mictum atque cacatum 

Julius, et fragilis pedacia, furque Voranus.' " — (Bib. Scat. p. 76.) 

The celebrated English orator, Charles James Fox, is credited with 
the authorship of "An Essay upon Wind," published anonymously in 
London, and numbered 91 in the Bib. Scat. (p. 39). 

Martin Luther had many struggles and disputes with his Satanic 
Majesty, in all of which the latter came off second best. Melancthon 
is cited as describing one of these, in which there were results 
worthy of incorporation in this work : " Hoc dicto victus Daemon, 
indignabundus secumque murmurans abiit, eliso crepitu, uon exiguo, 
cujus fussimen tetri odoris dies aliquot redolebat hypocaustum." Vid. 
Job. Wier, de Praestig. Daemon, cap. 7, p. m. 54, in Schurig, " Chylolo- 
gia," p. 795, article "De Crepitu Diaboli." 

"Luther relates a story of a lady who 'Sathanum crepitu ventris 
fugavit.' " — (" Les Propos de Table de Luther," par G. Brunet, Paris, 
1846, p. 22, quoted in Buckle's "Commonplace Book," p. 472, vol. ii. 
of his "Works." All the English editions of Luther's "Table Talk," 
so far as known to the author, are " expurgated.") 

" Ciceron, considerant le Peditus comma une victime innocente, 
opprimee par la civilisation de son temps, poussait en sa faveur le cri 
de liberte et formulait sea droits." As a footnote to the foregoing we 
read the following extract from Cicero : " Crepitus seque liberos ac ructus 
esse opportere." — (Lib. 9, Epist. 22.) 

" Memento quia ventus est vita raea." — (Job. vii. 9.) 

"Pedere te mallem, namque hoc nee inutile, dicit Symmachus, ot 
risum res movet ista simul." — (Martial, vii. 17, 9.) 

" ' Le Tonnerre, ce n'est qu'un Pet ; ' c'est Aristophane qui le dit." 

BpoVT^ Kttt TTOpS^, bflOLOi (" NuCCS.") 

All the preceding from Bib. Scat., article, " Oratio pro Guano 

Consult Aristophanes, " The Clouds," act v. scene 2. 

" Dissertation sur le dieu Pet," par M. Claude Terrin. — This author 
is stated to have cited from Clemens Romanus and Saint Ctesar. — (See 
Bib. Scat., p. 37.) 


Suetonius has the foUowiug remarks upon the Roman Emperor 
Claudius : " It is said too that he intended to publish an edict . . . 
allowing to all people the liberty of giving vent at table to any disten- 
sion occasioned by flatulence." This was upon " hearing of a person 
whose modesty, under such circumstances, had nearly cost him his 
life." — (" Claudius," xxxii.) 

Plutarch asks the question : " Question 95. Why was it ordained 
that they that were to live chaste should abstain from pulse 1 ... Or 
rather was it because they should bring empty and slender bodies to 
their purifications and expiations 1 For pulse are windy and cause a 
great deal of excrements that require purging off. Or is it because 
they excite lechery by reason of their flatulent and windy nature " 
("Morals," Goodwin's English translation, Boston, 1870, vol. ii. p. 

" The fact that in honor of the arrival of friends, the house is swept 
and strewn with sand, and that the people bathe at such occasions, 
shows that cleanliness is appreciated. The current expression is that 
the house is so cleaned that no bad smell remains to offend the guest. 
For the same reason the Indian takes repeated baths before praying, 
* that he may be agreeable to the Deity.' " — (" Report on the North- 
western Tribes of Canada," Dr. Franz Boas, British Association for the 
Advancement of Science, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Meeting, 1889, p. 19.) 

" Saul went into a cave * ut purgaret ventrem.' " — (Harington, 
"Ajax," p. 25.) 




TN close connection with this worship of Bel-Phegor, if there ever 
-*- was such a worship, may be examined the obscene tenures by 
which certain estates in England were held in " sergeantcy." No less an 
authority than Buckle, the historian, deemed an investigation of these 
not beneath the dignity of his intellect, as may be ascertained by a 
glance at his article *' Contributions to the History of the Pet," in his 
*' Commonplace Book," p. 472. He refers to " Miscellanea Antica 
Auglicana," Blount's "Ancient Tenures," Luther's " Table Talk " (as 
above), Dulaure's " Des Divinites Generatrices," Niebuhr's " Descrip- 
tion of Arabia," GifFord's edition of Ben Jonson, " The Staple of 
News," by Ben Jonson, Wright's " Political Ballads," in vols. iii. and 
vii. of the Percy Society's publications. With the exception of the 
first named, all the above have been examined, and a transcription 
made of the notes, which will be found inserted in their proper 

" The Lord of the Manor of Essington holds tenure from the lord of 
the Manor of Hilton in this way. He, the first named, must bring a 
goose each New Year to the hall of the Manor of Hilton, and drive it at 
least three times aroimd the fire, ' while Jack of Hilton is blowing the 
fire.' This Jack of Hilton is an image of brass, of about twelve inches 
high, kneeling on his left knee, and holding his right hand upon his 
head, and his left upon pego, or his viretrum, erected, having a little 
hole at the mouth, at which, being filled with water, and set to a 
strong fire, which makes it evaporate like an aelopile, it vents itself in 
constant blast, so strongly that it is very audible, and blows the fire 
fiercely." — (Blount, " Tenures of Land and Customs of Manors," 
Hazlitt's edition, London, 1874, p. 118.) 

This recalls the "mannikin" of Brussels, which may have super- 
seded some long since forgotten local deity ; it still serves political 
purposes occasionally. 


Elount's work was first issued under the title of "Jocular Tenures." 

The previilunce of phallic worship all over Flanders should be ad- 
verted to in mentioning the "mannikin " of Brussels. 

Dulaure ("Des differens Cultes," Paris, 1826, vol. ii. p. 272 et seq.) 
describes the phallic shrines of Saints Foutin, Guerlichon et al. *' Anne 
d'Autriche, epouse de Louis XIII. , y alia en pelerinage," — that is, to 
the shrine of Saint Foutin. 

He also shows that the use of the " raclure " of these phallic saints 
prevailed in France until the opening years of the present century. 

"Kowland, le Sai'cere, holds one hundred and ten acres of land in 
Hemington, County of Suffolk, by serjeantcy, for which on Christmas 
Day, every year, before our sovereign lord tlie King of England, he 
should perform altogether and at once a leap, a puff, and a fart." — 
(Idem p. 154.) 

" One Baldwin also formerly held these lands by the same service, 
and was called by the nickname of Baldwin le Peteur, or Baldwin 
the Farter." < — (Idem, p. 154.) 

Dr. Fletcher, president of the Anthropological Society of Washing- 
ton, D. C, called attention to the fact that reference to the above 
tenure of Baldwin, " per saltum, sufflatum, et pettum," is given in the 
Ingoldsby Legends, " The Spectre of Tappington," based upon Blount. 
Ducange, in his " Glossarium," proves the antiquity of these tenures, 
which go back, so far as known, to the earliest years of the fourteenth 
century." — (See Ducange, article " Bombus.") 

Ducange also describes the peculiar custom governing the admission 
of " filia communis " into the " villa Montis Lucii," of which more 

'* Barrington, in his * Observations on the Statutes,' speaking of the 
people, says : " They were also, by the customs prevailing in particular 
districts, subject to services not only of the most servile, but the most 
ludicrous nature.* * Utpote Die Nativitatis Domini coram eo saltare. 
buccas cum sonitu inflare, et ventrum crepitum edere.' (Struvii 
Jurispr. Feud. p. 541.) Sir Richard Cox, in his 'History of Ireland,' 
likewise mentions some very ridiculous customs which continued in the 
year 1565." — (Brand, "Popular Antiquities," vol. i. p. 515, article 
" Fool-Plough and Sword-Dance.") 

** Monstrelet, en d^crivant une fete que donna en 1453 le due de 
Bourgogne, dit qu'on y voyait ; une pucelle qui, de sa mamelle, ver- 
sait hypocras en grande largesse ; ti cote de la pucelle etait un jeune 
enfant qui, de sa broquette, rendait eau rose." — (Chroniq. vol. iii. 


fol. 55 V ; Dulaure, " Traite des DifFerens Cultes," vol. i. p. 324, foot- 

That these customs, absurd, obscene, irrational, as they appear in 
the light of to-day, had their origin in the mists of antiquity is not at 
all improbable ; neither is it a violent assumption to attribute a reli- 
gious origin to them. It is conceded that they had all the force of 
legalized customs ; and law was anciently part and parcel of religion's 

The remarks of Ducange are inserted because they may not be 
readily accessible to every reader. He quotes from Canideu and 

Baldwin "Qui tenuit terras in Comitatu Suffolciensi, per serjenciam 
pro qua debuit facere, singulis annis (die Natali Domini), coram Domi- 
no Rege, unum saltnm, unum sufflatum, et unum borabulum." 

" Hemingston, wherein Baldwin le Petteur (observe the name) held 
land by serjeantcy (thus an ancient book expresses it), for which he 
was obliged every Christmas Day to perform before our lord the King 
of England one saltus, one sufflatus, and one bumbulus ; or as it is 
read in another place, he held it by a saltus, a sufflus, and a pettus, 
— that is (if I apprehend it aright), he was to dance, make a noise 
with his cheeks, and let a fart. Such was the plain, jolly mirth of 
those days." — (Camden, "Brittania," edition of London, 1753, vol. i. 
p. 444.) 

Grimm was impressed with the undeniable intermixture of the old 
religious doctrine with the system of law ; for the latter, " even after 
the adoption of the new faith, would not part with certain old forms 
and usages." ("Teutonic Mythol.," introduc. p. 12.) In another para- 
graph he says : " I shall try elsewhere to show in detail how a good 
deal in the gestures and attitudes prescribed for certain legal transac- 
tions savors of priestly ceremony at sacrifice and prayer." — (Idem, 
vol. 1. p. 92.) 




A NOTHER odd usage of which no explanation has been transmitted 
■^^*- is thus described by Ducange, Dulaure, and others : — 

"En outre, chaque fille publique qui se livre a quelque homme que 
ce soit, lorsqu'elle entre pour la premiere fuis dans la ville de Mont- 
lucon, doit payer sur le pont de cette ville quatre deniers, ou y faire 
un pet." — (Dulaure, " des Divin. Generat." p. 279, quoting from 
Ducange, " Glossarium," article " Bombus.") 

In a work by the Abbe Roubaud, entitled " La Peterade, poeme en 
quatre chants," we are informed, *' II renvoie k Ducange pour prouver 
qu'en France on admettait les pets comme monnaie de cours en paiement 
des peages. . . . Bombi pro scudis valebant." — (" Bib. Scatalogica," 
p. 48.) 

If we may believe Victor Hugo, the custom of the "peage" at the 
bridge of Montluc was generally known to the people of France in 
the fifteenth century. Thus, in the first chapter of " Notre Dame," 
the populace of Paris, at the Feast of Fools, are represented as indulg- 
ing in much badinage, — 

" Dr. Claude Choart, are you seeking Marie la Giffardsl" 

♦' She 's in the Rue de Glatigny." 

"She's paying her four deniers, — quatuor denarios." 

" Aut imura bumbum." 

Dulaure again quotes Ducange in regard to the tolls demanded of 
public women first crossing the bridge at Montluc. He finds de- 
scription of this peculiar toll in registers dating back to 1398 ; he also 
sees the resemVilance between this toll and the tenure of the Manor of 
Essington. — (See " Traite des Dif. Cultes," vol. ii. p. 315, footnote.) 

Surgeon Robert ]\[. O'Reilly, U. S. Army, states that among the 
Irish settlers who came to the United States in the closing hours of the 
last century the expression was common, in speaking of Flatulence, to 
term it " Sir-Reverence." 


** Sir-Reverence. In old writers, a common corruption of 'save rev- 
erence,' or * saving your reverence,' — an apologetic phrase used when 
mentioning anything deemed improper or unseemly, and especially 
a euphemism for stercus humanum.^^ 'Cagada,' a surreverence." — 
(Stevens's " Sp. Diet.," 1706.) 

"Siege, stool, sir-reverence, excrement." — (Bishop Wilkins's " Es- 
say towards a Philosophical Language," 1688, p. 241.) 

" Thoo grins like a dog eating sir-reverence." (Holderness, "Glos- 
sary, English Dialect Society.") Compare Spanish salvanor, anus. 
(Stevens.) — (" Folk-Etymology," Eev. A. Smith Palmer, London, 


It is quite within the bounds of argument and proof to show that 
the Eomans looked upon the building of a bridge as a sacred work. 
Upon no other hypothesis can we make clear why their chief priest 
was designated " the Greatest Bridge-Builder " (the Pontifex Maximus). 
That this idea was transmitted to the barbarians who occupied Conti- 
nental and insular Europe would be a most plausible presumption, 
even were historical evidence lacking. 

Concerning the tolls exacted from the prostitutes who crossed cer- 
tain bridges in France, and the tenures by which certain estates were 
held in England, we have to bear in mind that during the Middle Ages 
bridges were erected by bodies or associations of bridge-builders, which 
seem to have been secret societies. " It seems not improbable that 
societies or lodges of bridge-builders existed at an early period, and 
that they were relics of the policy of Roman times ; but the history of 
such societies is involved in obscurity. The Church appears to have 
taken them up and encouraged them in the twelfth century, and then 
they were endowed with a certain religious character. . . . The order 
of bridge-builders at Avignon, with the peculiar love of punning which 
characterized the Middle Ages, were called * fratres pontificales,' and 
sometimes ' fratres pontis ' and ' factores pontium.' . . . According to 
Ducange (Gloss, v. fratres pontis), their dress was a white vest with a 
sign of a bridge and cross of cloth on the breast." (" Essays on 
Archaeological Subjects," Thomas "Wright, London, 1861, vol. ii. p. 137 
et seq., article " Mediaeval Bridge-Builders.") In this connection it 
may be just as- well to remember that the Pope of Rome is still the 
Pontifex Maximus. 

Knowing that bridges were constructed by secret societies, we 
have fought out half our battle ; for these secret societies were un- 


doubtedly under the patronage and protection of some god in heathen 
times, or of some saint in later days, reserving for the honor of the 
latter the same ritual which had been consecrated to the devotion of 
the heathen predecessor. 

The following from Fosbroke is pertinent : " Plutarch derives the 
word ' Ton tifex ' from sacrifices made upon bridges, — a ceremony of 
the highest antiquity. These priests are said to have been commissioned 
to keep the bridges in repair, as an indispensable part of their office. 
This custom no doubt gave birth to the chapel on London bridge, and 
the offerings were of course for repairs." In another place he mentions 
" the annexation of chapels to almost all our bridges of note." — 
(" Cyclopccdia of Antiquities," London, 1843, vol. i. pp. G2, 14G, 
article " Bridges.") 

" Gottling (Gesch. d. Rom. Staatsv. p. 173) thinks that Tontifex' 
is only another form for ' pompifex,' which would characterize the 
pontiffs only as the managers and conductors of public processions and 
solemnities. But it seems far more probable that the word is formed 
from poHs and facere, . . . and that consequently it signifies the priest 
who offered sacrifices upon the bridge." — (" Dictionary of Greek and 
Roman Antiquities," William Smith, LL. D., Boston, 1849, article 
" Pontifcx.") 

" Les Romains avaient reuni en college sacerdotale leurs construc- 
teurs de pouts." — ("Les Primitifs," Elie Reclus, Paris, 1S85, p. IIG.) 

Among the Romans — who were the great architects of the European 
world, and whose aqueducts, baths, roads, and bridges have never 
been approached in strength or beauty by those of any other nation 
about them — it was to be expected that the title of the great priest 
should be Pontifex INfaximus, on the same principle that among the 
Todas of the Nilgherris, who are pre-eminently a pastoral race, the 
chief medicine man or priest is called Palal, " meaning the Great 
Milker." — (See for these statements "Les Primitifs," Reclus, p. 260, 
article "Les Monticules des Nilgherris.") 

The legends of the Middle Ages, all over Europe, from South Ger- 
many to Scandinavia, are filled with references to bridges, mills, and 
churches, but especially bridges, built by the Devil exclusively or by 
his assistance ; and in every case there is the suggestion of human 
sacrifice having been offered. 

"As a rule, the victims were captive enemies, purchased slaves or 
great criminals. . . . Hence, in our own folk-tales, the first to cross 
the bridge, the first to enter the new building or the country, pays 


with his Hfe, which meant falls a sacrifice. ... In folk-tales we find 
traces of the immolation of children ; they are killed as a cure for 
leprosy, they are wailed up in basements. . . . Extraordinary events 
might demand the death of kings' sons and daughters, nay, of kings 
themselves." — ("Teutonic Mythology," Grimm, vol. i. p. 46.) 

" When the Devil builds the bridge, he is either under compulsion 
from men or is hunting for a soul ; but he has to put up with the cock 
or chamois, which is purposely made to run first across the new 
bridge," or " they make a wolf scamper through the door " of the new 
church, or a goat. — (Idem, vol. iii. p. 102.) 

"AVhen the new bridge at Halle, finished in 1843, was building the 
common people fancied a child was wanted to be walled into the foun- 
dations." — (Idem, vol. iii. p. 1142.) 

" In modern Greece, when the foundation of a new building is being 
laid, it is the custom to kill a cock, a ram, or a lamb, and to let its 
blood flow on the foundation-stone, under which the animal is after- 
wards buried. The object of the sacrifice is to give strength and sta- 
bility to the building. But sometimes, instead of killing an animal, 
the builder entices a man to the foundation-stone, secretly measures 
his body or a part of it, or his shadow, and buries them under the 
foundation-stone, or he lays the foundation-stone on the man's shadow. 
It is believed that the man will die within a year." — (" The Golden 
Bough," Frazer, vol. i. p. 144.) 

It is not our purpose to carry this part of the discussion farther. 
The curious may consult Grimm, who shows the frequency with which 
human victims were walled up alive in new castles, ramparts, bridges, 
and other structures. As time passed on and man grew wiser, there 
•was a substitution of a coffin as a symbol of the human victim ; in 
stables a calf or a lamb was buried alive under the main door, some- 
times a cock or a goat ; under altars, a live lamb ; in newly opened 
graveyards, a live horse. All this testimony points conclusively to the 
fact that every such structure was begun at least under auspices from 
which all traces and suggestions of heathenism had not yet been elimi- 
nated ; consequently we shall not be very much in error in deciding 
that there was some survival of a religious rite in the peculiar cere- 
mony insisted upon at crossing the bridge of Monti uc, or that it, as all 
others, was built by architects who still adhered to the old cultus, and 
had influence enough with the rustic population to secure the incor- 
poration of certain features of a sacred character belonging to the 
superseded ritual, and which have come down to t\s, or almost to us, 
in a more or less mutilated and distorted condition. 


A very interesting article is to be found in " Melusine," Paris, May 5, 
1888, which may be read with great profit at this moment ; it is en- 
titled " Les Kites de la Construction,'* and relates the popular tradi- 
tion of the failure to maintain a bridge at a place called Resporden, in 
Cornwall, as each was swept away by flood almost as soon as com- 
pleted. The good people of the vicinity suspected sorcery and witch- 
craft, and consulted a witch, whose directions were couched in these 
terms : " Si les gens de Resporden veulent avoir un pont qui ne fasse 
plus la culbute, ils devront enterrer vivant dans les fondations un petit 
gar9on de quatre ans. . . . On placera I'enfant dans une futaille de- 
foncee, tout nu, et il tiendra d'une main une chandelle bcnite, de 
I'autre nu morceau de pain." 

An unnatural mother was found who gave her infant son for the 
sacrifice, receiving some compensation, and the poor victim was walled 
up alive as directed ; the bridge was completed, and has since with- 
stood all the ravages of storm and freshet ; but the tale still repeats the 
last words of the hapless babe, — 

" Ma chandelle est morte, ma mere, 
Et de pain, 11 ne me reste miette." 

The unnatural mother very properly went insane in a few days after 
the sacrifice ; and the wail of the abandoned babe is still to be heard 
in the moaning of the winds and the sobs of the rains that fall upon 




^r^HE rough games of the English rustics are not altogether free from 
-"- vestiges of the same nature as have been recorded of the Arabian 
sheik in pi'eceding pages. For example, in Northumberland, England, 

there was a curious diversion called " F g for the pig." Brand 

gives no explanation of the custom, which may be allied to the jocular 
tenures mentioned by Blount, and with them to the worship of Bel- 
Phegor. Brand says : " The ancient grossierete of our manners would 
almost exceed belief. In the stage directions to old Moralites we 

often find, * Here Satan letteth a f .' " — (' Popular Antiquities," 

vol. ii. p. 9, article " Country Wakes.") 

In London itself such " survivals " lingered down to very recent 
periods. " In former times the porters that plyed at Billingsgate 
used civilly to entreat and desire every man that passed that way to 
salute a post that stood there in a vacant place. If he refused to do 

this, they forthwith laid hold of him, and by main force bouped his 

against the post ; but if he quietly submitted to kiss the same, and 
paid down sixpence, then they gave him a name, and chose some one of 
the gang for his godfather. I believe this was done in memory of 
some old image that formerly stood there, perhaps of Belius or Belin." 
— (Brand, " Popular Antiquities," vol. ii. p. 433, article " Kissing the 

All these customs, absurd as they seem to us, may have been parts 
of the ritual of deities of the same class as Bel-Phegor, who looked 
after the excreta perhaps, and the organs connected therewith ; some 
kind of a tribute was demanded, and none could be more appropriate 
than the offering of the parts or the submission to some pain inflicted 
upon them by those in charge of the shrine. 

Crossing the Atlantic, a custom suspiciously like the preceding, 
was still to be heard of, as a rough boyish prank, in Philadelphia, 


Penn., thirty or more years ago. Whenever it happened that any boy 
■was guilty of flatulence, all the party of school-boys would cry, " Touch 
wood ! " and run to touch the nearest tree-box ; those who were slow in 
doing this were pounded by the more rapid ones. 

" Then, lads and lasses, merry be, 

And, to make sport, 

I f 1 and snort." 

(" The Pranks of Robin Goodfellow," supposed to be by Ben Jonson, quoted in 
Hazlitt's "Fairy Tales," London, 1875, p. 420.) 

The following memoranda from Buckle, "Commonplace Book," seem 
to have no value beyond merely filthy stories : — 

" Ludlow's f was a prophetique trump ; 

There never was anything so jump ; 
'T was a very type of a vote of this rump. 
Which nobody can deny." 

Ludlow is a stanch Republican. The incident alluded to was a sub- 
ject of much merriment, and exercised the pen of some of the choicest 
poets of the latter half of the seventeenth century. — (" Ballad : A 
New Year's Gift for the Rump," Jan. 5, 1659, and footnote in Percy 
Society's " Early English Poetry," London, 1841, vol. iii. p. 176.) 

" And then my poets. 
The same that writ so subtly of the fart." 

(" The Alchemist," Ben Jonson, act ii. scene 1.) 

"Who the author alluded to should be I cannot say. In the col- 
lection of poems called ' Musarum Delicite ; or, The Muse's Recrea- 
tion,' by Sir John Ennis and Dr. Smith, there is a poem called * The 
Fart censured in the Parliament House.' It was occasioned by an es- 
cape of that kind in the House of Commons. I have seen part of this 
poem ascribed to an author in the time of Elizabeth, and possibly it 
may be the thing referred to by Jonson." (Whalley.) But Giflbrd, 
from whose later editions I have drawn my material, comments to the 
efifect that "this escape, as Whalley calls it, took place in 1607, long 
after the time of Elizabeth. The ballad is among the Harleian Manu- 
scripts, and is also printed in the State Poems ; it contains about forty 
stanzas of the most wretched doggerel." — (Gifford's edition of Jon- 
son, London, 1816.) 

" The Fool of Cornwalle." " I was told of a humorous knight dwel- 
ling in the same countrey (that is, Cornwall), who upon a time, having 


gathered together in one open market-place a great assemblie of knights, 
squires, gentlemen, and yeomen, and whilest they stood expecting to 
heare some discourse or speech to proceed from him, he, in a foolish 
manner (not without laughter), began to use a thousand jestures, tuni- 
ing his eyes this way and then that way, seeming always as though 
presently he would have begun to speake, and at last, fetching a deepe 
sii^h, with a grunt like a hogge, he let a beastly loud fart, and tould 
them that the occasion of this calling them together was to no other 
end but that so noble a fart might be honoured with so noble a com- 
pany as there was." — ("Jack of Dover's Quest of Inquiry," in Percy 
Society, vol. vii. p. 30, London, 1852. "Jack of Dover," a. d. 1604.) 

" The Foole of Lincoln." " There dwelleth of late a certaine poore 
labouring man in Lincoln, who, upon a time, after his wife had so re- 
viled him with tongue nettle as the whole streete rung again for weari- 
ness thereof, at last he went out of the house, and sate him downe 
quietly upon a blocke before his owne doore ; his wife, being more out 
of patience by his quietness and gentle sufFeraunce, went up into the 
chamber, and out at the window powred downe a pisse-pot upon Lis 
head ; which when the poor man sawe, in a merry moode he spake 
these words : 'Now, surely,' quoth he, * I thought at last that after so 
great a thunder we should have some raine.' " — (Idem, vol. vii. p. 15.) 

The preceding filthy pleasantry comes down from a very distin- 
guished origin. Harington recalls the adventure of the " good Socrates, 
who, when Xantippe had crowned him with a chamber-pot, he bore it 
off single with his head and shoulders, and said to such as laughed 
at it, — 

" It never yet was deemed a wonder 
To see that rain should follow thunder." 

("Ajax,"p. 94.) 

" Nathaniel. They write from Libtzig (reverence to your ears) 

The art of drawing farts from out of dead bodies 

Is by the brotherhood of the Rosie Cross 

Produced unto perfection, in so sweet 

And rich a tincture." 
("The Staple of News," Ben Jonson, Gifford's edition, London, 1816, act iii. 
scene 1, p. 240.) 




/^ARE should be taken to distiuguish between the religious use of 
^-^ ordure and urine, and that in which they figure as outward signs 
of mourning, induced by a frenzy of grief, or where they have been 
utilized in the arts. 

Lord Kingsborough (Mexican Antiquities, vol. viii. p. 237) briefly 
outlines such ritualistic defilement in the Mortuary Ceremonies of 
Hebrews and Aztecs, giving as references for the latter Diego Duran, 
and for the former the prophet Zechariah, chap. iii. : "Now Joshua 
was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel," etc. 

" The nearest relations cut their hair and blacken their faces, and 
the old women put human excrement on their heads, — the sign of 
the deepest mourning." — ("The Native Tribes of South Australia," 
Adelaide, 1879, pp. 200, received through the kindness of the Eoyal 
Society, New South Wales, T. B. Kyngdon, Secretary.) 




(^r^HE economical value of human and animal excreta would seem to 
-*- have obtained recognition among all races from the earliest ages. 
It is not venturing beyond limits to assert that a book could be written 
upon this phase of the subject alone. It is not essential to incorporate 
here all that could be compiled, but enough is submitted to substan- 
tiate the statement just made, and to cover every line of inquiry. 

It might perhaps be well to consider whether or not the constant 
use of and familiarity with human urine and ordure in houses, arts, 
and industries of various kinds would have a tendency to blunt the 
sensibilities of rude races, so that in their rites we could look for the 
introduction of these loathsome materials ; just as we find that all 
those races whose women are allowed to go naked place a very slight 
value upon chastity. 

"It certainly is not possible to separate the religious uses of urine 
from its industrial and medical uses. . . . Probably nearly everywhere 
it has been the first soap known. Does not this aspect of the matter 
need to be insisted on, even from the religious point of view? ... In 
England and France, and probably elsewhere, the custom of washing 
the hands in urine, with an idea of its softening and beautifying in- 
fluence, still subsists among ladies, and I have known those who con- 
stantly made water on their hands with this idea." — (Havelock Ellis, 
" Contemporary Science Series," London, Personal letter.) 


The inhabitants of Kodiak employ urine in preparing the skins 
of birds, according to Lisiansky. — (" Voyage round the World," 
London, 1814, p. 214.) 

" Les gants, articles de grand luxe, et de haute elegance, faits pour 
recouvrir de blanches mains et des bras dodus, sont imbibe d'un jaune 



d'oenf largement additionne dudit liquide ambre." — (" Les Primitifs," 
Kechis, p. 72.) 

By the Eskimo urine is preserved for use in tanning skins,* while 
its employment in the preparation of leather, in both Europe and 
America, is too well understood to require any reference to authorities. 

The Kioways of the Great Plains soaked their buffalo hides in urine 
to make them soft and flexible.* 

Urine is employed by the Tchuktchi of Siberia " in curing or tanning 
skins." — (" In the Lena Delta," Melville, Boston, Mass., 1885, p. 318.) 

Sauer says that the Yakuts tan deer and elk skins with cow-dung. — 
("Expedition to the North parts of Russia," London, 1802, p. 131. 

Dung is used in tanning by the Bongo of the upper Nile region. — 
(See Schweinfurth, "Heart of Africa," London, 1878, vol. i. p. 134.) 

Bernal Diaz, in his enumeration of the articles for sale in the 
"tianguez" or mai'ket-places of Tcnochtitlan, uses this expression: 
" I must also mention human excrements, which were exposed for sale 
in canoes lying in the canals near this square, which is used for the 
tanning of leather ; for, according to the assurances of the Mexicans, 
it is impossible to tan well without it." — (Bernal Diaz, "Conquest of 
Mexico," London, 1844, vol. i. p. 236.) 

The same use of ordure in tanning bear-skins can be found among 
the nomadic Apaches of Arizona, although, preferentially, they use the 
ordure of the animal itself. 

G6mara, who also tabulated the articles sold in the Mexican mar- 
kets, does not mention ordure in direct terms; his words are more 
vague: "All these things which I speak of, with many that I do not 
know, and others about which I keep silent, are sold in this market of 
the Mexicans." * 

Urine figures as the mordant for fixing the colors of blankets and 
other woollen fabrics woven by the Navajoes of New Mexico, by the 
Moquis of Arizona, by the Zufiis and other Pueblos of the Southwest, 

1 They also keep urine in tubs in their huts for use in dressing deer and seal 
skins. (Mans Egede ; also quoted in Richardson's "Polar Regions, " Edinburgh, 
1861, p. 304. ) The same custom has been noted in Alaska. The same thing 
mentioned by Egcde's grand-nephew, Hans Egede Saab3'e. (" Greenland," London, 
1816, p. 6.) 

2 The whole process was carefully observed by Captain Robert G. Carter, 4th 
Cavalry, U. S. Army. 

' " estas cosas que digo y muchas que no s6 y otras que callo se venden 
en este mercado destos de Mejico." — (Gomara, " Historia de la Conquista de 
Mejico," p. 349.) 


by the Araucanians of Chili, by Mexicans, Peruvians, by some of the 
tribes of Afghanistan, and other nations, by all of whom it is carefully 


"Eoman fullers used human urine in their business, and Pliny says 
it was noticed that they never suffered from gout." — (Pliny, " Natural 
History," lib. xxviii. cap. 3 : Bohn). 

Urine has also been employed as a detergent in cleaning wool. — 
(Encyclopaedia Britanuica, article " Bleaching.") 


Urine is used in dyeing by the people of Ounalashka, according to 
Langsdorff, " Voyages " (vol. ii. p. 47) ; also, according to Sarytschew, 
in " Philip's Voyages " (vol. vi, p. 72). 

The same use of it has been attributed to the Irish by Camden, in 
"Brittania," edition of London, 1753, vol. ii. p. 1419. His statement 
is quoted by Buckle : " In 1562, O'Neal, with some of his companions, 
came to London and astonished the citizens by their hair flowing in 
locks on their shoulders, on which were yellow surplices, dyed with 
saffron or stained with urine." — (" Commonplace Book," vol. ii. 
p. 236.) 

"As a substitute for alum, urine was employed." — ("Folk-Lore of 
the Pennsylvania Germans," W. J. Hoffman, M. D., in "Journal of 
American Folk-Lore," 1889.) 

" The preparation of blue, violet, and bluish-red coloring matters 
from lichens by the action of the ammonia of stale urine, seems to 
have been known at a very early period to the Mediterranean peoples, 
and the existence, down almost to the present day, of such a knowl- 
edge in the more remote parts of Ireland, Scotland, and Scandinavia, 
renders it not improbable that the art of making such dyes was not 
unknown to the northern nations of Europe also." — (" The Manners 
and Customs of the Ancient Irish," Eugene O'Curry, introduction 
by W. K. Sullivan, London, Dublin, Edinburgh, and New York, 1873, 
p. 450.) 


As a plaster for the interior of dwellings, cow-dung has been used 
with frequency ; that the employment of the ordure of an animal held 
sacred by so many peoples has a religious basis, is perhaps too much 
to say, but it will be shown, further on, that different ordures were 


kept about houses to ensure good luck or to avert the maleficence 
of witchcraft. 

Marco Polo has the following : (In Malabar) " there are some 
called Gaui, who eat such oxen as die of themselves, but may not kill 
them, and daub over their houses with cow-dung." — (Marco Polo, in 
Pinkerton, vol. vii. p. 162.) 

The huts in Senegal were plastered " with cow-dung, which stunk 
abominably' ." — (Adamson, " Voyage to Senegal," in Pinkerton, vol. 
xvi. p. Gil.) 

" The cow-dung basements around the tents " of the Mongols are 
spoken of by Rev. James Gilmour. — ("Among the Mongols," London, 
1883, p. 176.) 

" A floor is next made of soft tufa and cow-dung." — (Livingston, 
"Zambesi," London, 1805, p. 293.) 

Animal dung is used as a mortar b}' the inhabitants of Turkey in 
Asia living in the valley of the Tigris. — (See " Assyrian Discoveries," 
George Smith, New York, 1876, p. 82.) 

The natives of the White jSile, the tribes of the Bari, make 
"a cement of ashes, cow-dung, and sand," with which "they plaster 
the floors and enclosures about their houses." — (" The Albert Xy- 
anza," Sir Samuel Baker, Philadelphia, 1869, p. 58. See the same 
author for the Latookas, idem, p. 135 ; and for the statement that the 
Obbos plaster enclosures, walls, and floors alike, see pp. 203, 262.) 

Pliny tells us that the threshing-floors of the Roman farmers were 
paved with cow-dung; in a footnote it is stated that the same rule 
obtains in France to this day. — (Pliny, lib. Ixxviii. cap. 71 : Bohn). 

Horse-dung was considered very valuable as a luting for chemical 
stills and furnaces. — (See Schurig, " Chylologia," p. 815; also, as a 
" Digesting medium," idem.) 

Of the Yakuts of Siberia it is related : " In dirtiness they yield 
to none ; for a gi*ave author assures us that the mortars which they 
use for bruising their dried fish are made of cow-dung hardened by the 
frost." — (Maltebrun, "Universal Geography," vol. i. p. 347.) 

"The people of Jungeion . . . collected the dung of cows and 
sheep . . . dried it, roasted it on the fire, and afte wards used it for a 
bed." — (Mungo Park, " Travels in Africa," in Pinkerton, vol. xvi. 
p. 834.) 

" The vessels in which they (the Yakuts) stamp their dried fish, 
Roots and Berries, are made of dried Oxen and Cow's dung." — (Van 
Straleuberg, p. 382.) 


The Index to the first volume of Purchas has "Dung bought by 
sound of tabor, p. 270, 1. 40 ; " and " Dung of Birds, a strange report 
of it ; " but neither of these could be found in the main portion of 
the volume. 


The best varieties of Tobacco coming from America were arranged 
in bunches, tied to stakes, and suspended in privies, in order that the 
fumes arising from the human ordure and urine might correct the cor- 
rupt and noxious principles in the plant in the crude state. — (See 
iSchurig, "Chylologia," p. 776. "Ex paxillo aliquandiu suspendere iu 
Cloacis Tabacum," etc.) 

" I heard lately from good authority that, iu Havana, the female 
urine is used in cigar-manufacturing as a good maceration." — (Per- 
sonal letter from Dr. Gustav Jaeger, Stuttgart, August 29, 1888.) 


The odor of musk and the color of coral could be restored by sus- 
pending them in a privy for a time. — (See Dauielus Beckherius, 
" Medicus Microcosmus," London, 1600, p. 113.) 

" Paracelsus scil. mediante digestione stercus humanum ad odorem 
Moschi redigere voluit." — (Etmuller, "Opera Omnia," Comment. 
Ludovic. Lyons, 1690, vol. ii. pp. 171, 172.) 

" Moschi odorem deperditum restitui posse, si in loco aliquo, ubi 
urina et excremeuta alvina putrescunt, detineatur, apud autores 
legimus." — (Schurig, " Chylologia," p. 768.) 

"Fit, ut Moschus longo tempore aemittat odorem, quern tamen 
recuperat si irroretur cum pueri urina, vel si suspendatur in latrina 
humana." — (Etmuller, vol. ii. p. 276.) 


" A storekeeper in Berlin was punished some years ago for having 
used the urine of young girls with a view to make his cheese richer 
and more piquant. Notwithstanding, people went, bought and ate 
his cheese with delight. What may be the cause of all these foolish 
and mysterious things'? In human urine is the Anthropin." — (Per- 
sonal letter from Dr. Gustav Jaeger, Stuttgart, August 29, 1888.) 

" En certaines fermes de Suisse on se sert, m-a-t'on-dit, de Purine 
pour activer la fermentation de certaines fromages qu'on y plonge." — 


(Personal letter from Dr. Bernard to Captain Bourke, dated Cannes, 
irance, July 7, 1888.) 

Whether or not the use of human urine to ripen cheese originated in 
the ancient practice of employing excrementitious matter to preserve 
the products of the dairy from the maleficence of witches ; or, on the 
other hand, whether or not such an employment as an agent to defeat 
the efforts of the witches be traceable to the fact that stale urine was 
originally the active ferment to hasten the coagulation of the milk 
would scarcely be worth discussion. 


The smoker of opium little imagines that, in using his deadly drug, 
he is often smoking an adulterated article, the adulterant being hen 
manure ; he is thus placed on a par with the American Indian smoking 
the dried dung of the buffalo, and the African smoking that of the 
antelope or the rhinoceros. 


In the description of the province of Quang-tong, it is stated that 
the Chinese hatch eggs " in the Oven, or in Dung." — (Du Halde, 
"History of China," London, 1741, vol. i. p. 238.) See the same 
statement made in Purchas, vol. i. 270. 

In China " their fish is chiefly nourished with the dung of Oxen that 
greatly fatteth it." — (Perera, in Purchas, vol. i. p. 205.) 


The Roman emperors imposed a tax and tolls upon urine because of 
its usefulness in many things. — ("Dreck Apotheke," Paullini, p. 8. 
See previous statements in this volume and consult Suetonius " Ves- 


There was a cement for fixing the precious metals, which cement was 
known as " Chrysocollon," and was made with much ceremony from 
the urine "of an innocent boy." There are various descriptions, but 
the following, while brief, contain all the material points. 

Galen describes this Chrysocollon, or Gold-Glue, as prepared by some 
physicians from the urine of a boy, who had to void it into a mortar 
of red copper while a pestle of the same material was in motion, which 
urine carefully exposed to the sun until it had acquired the thickness 


of honey, was considered capable of soldering gold and of curing obsti- 
nate diseases: "Attamen medicameutum quod ex urina pueri confice- 
tur quod quidam vocant chrysocollon, quia eo ad auri glutinationem 
utuntur, ad ulcera difficilia sanatu optimum esse assero fit autem id 
figura phiali confecto niortario ex aire rubro habentem pistillum ejusdem 
materiie in quod mejente puero pistillum circumages, identidem, ut 
uou tantum a mortario deradedet, etc." ("Opera Omnia," Kuhn's 
edition, vol. xii. pp. 286, 287.) 

Dioscorides describes the manufacture thus : " Quinetiam ex ea 
(i. e. 'pueri inuocentis urina') et acre cyprio idoneum ferrumiuando 
giutea paratur." — ("Materia Medica," Kuhn's edition, vol. i. p. 227 
et seq.) 

If a boy's urine be rubbed up in a copper mortar with a copper pestle, 
it makes a sort of mucilage which can be used to fasten articles of gold 
together, as Sextus Placitus tells us : " Si pueri lotium cupriuo mor- 
tario et cuprino pistello contritum fuerit, aurum solidat." — (" De 
Medicamentis ex Animalibus," edition of Lyons, 1537, pages not num- 
bered, article, " De Puello et Puella Virgine.") 

The definition given by Avicenna, the Arabian authority, is : " Quae 
fit ex urina infantium mota in mortario aero cum aceto in sole." — 
(Vol. i. p. 336, a 34 et seq.) 

We also read of an " Alchymical Water," called " Diana," for trans- 
muting metals into gold and silver; it was believed that this prepara- 
tion was efficacious " ad mutandum Merciirium in Solem vel Lunani." 
(" Sol " was gold, " Luna " was silver ; see notes from Paracelsus be- 
low.) This " Diana " was employed in the preparation of " Crocus 
Martis," as well as in that of " Oleum Martis," for giving metals the 
color of gold, for polishing gold plate, for giving a fine temper to the 
best iron or steel implements, and for making the " Chrysocolla " just 
described. — ("Medicus Microcosmus," Beckherius, pp. 103-108.) 

Paracelsus, speaking of the metals says : " Sol, that is Gold ; Luna, 
that is silver; Venus, that is Copper; Mercury, that is Quicksilver; 
Saturnus, that is Lead; Jupiter, that is Tinne ; Mars, that is Iron." — 
("The Secrets of Physicke," English translation, London, 1633, p. 


Human urine was considered efficacious in the removal of ink-spots. 
— (See Pliny, Bohn, lib. v. and lib, xxviii.) 



Fossilized excrement is used in the manufacture of jewelry, under 
the name of " Coprolite." 

Lapland women carry a little case made from the bark of the birch 
tree, " which they usually carry under the girdle " in which is to be 
found reindeer dung, not as an amulet but to aid in weaning the young 
reindeer by smearing the udders of the dams." — (See Leems' " Account 
of Danish Lapland," in Pinkerton, vol. i. p. 405.) 

But, from other sources, we have learned that the Laps attached the 
most potent influences to ordure and urine believing that their rein- 
deer could be bewitched, that vessels could be hastened or retarded in 
their course, etc., by the use of such materials. Several examples of 
this belief are given in this volume ; see under " Witchcraft." 


Laugsdorff noticed that urine entered into the domestic economy of 
the natives of Ounalashka. He tells us that the tattooing was per- 
formed with " a sort of coal dust mixed with urine, rubbed in " the punc- 
tures made in the skin (" Voyages," vol. ii. p. 40). That the tattooing 
with which savages decorate their bodies has a significance beyond a 
simple personal ornamentation cannot be gainsaid, although the degree 
of its degeneration from a primitive religious symbolism may now be 
impossible to determine. Even if regarded in no other light than as a 
means of clan-distinction, there is the suggestion of obsolete ceremonial, 
because the separation into castes and gentes is in every case described 
V)y the savages concerned as having been performed at the behest of some 
one of their innumerable deities, who assigned to each clan its appro- 
priate " totem." Clan marks may be represented in the tattooing, the 
conventional signs of primitive races not having yet been sufficiently in- 
vestigated ; for example, among the Apaches three marks radiating out 
from a single stem represent a turkey, that being the form of the bird's 
foot. At the dances of the Indians of the pueblo of Santo Domingo, 
on the Rio Grande, New Mexico, the bodily decorations were, in nearly 
every case, associated with the clan " totem ; " but this fact never 
would have been suspected unless explained by one of the initiated. 
In one of the dances of the Moquis the members of the Tejon or Bad- 
ger clan appeared with white stripes down their faces ; that is one of 
the marks of the badger, as they explained. 


The author does not wish to say much on this topic, since his atten- 
tion was not called to it until a comparatively late period in his investi- 
gations ; but he was surprised to learn that the Apaches, among whom 
he then was, although marking themselves very slightly, almost in- 
variably made use of an emblemism of a sacred character ; moreover, 
it was very generally the work of some one of the " medicine men." 

The tattooing of the people of Otaheite seen by Cook was surmised 
by him to have a religious significance, as it presented in many in- 
stances " squares, circles, crescents, and ill-designed representations of 
men and dogs." (In Hawkesworth's " Voyages," London, 1773, vol. ii. 
p. 190.) Every one of these people was tattooed upon reaching majority. 
(Idem, p. 191.) It is stated that certain chiefs in New Zealand, un- 
able to write their names to a document presented to them for signa- 
ture drew lines like those tattooed upon their faces and noses." — (See 
"Voyage of Adventure and Beagle," London, 1839, vol. ii. p. 586.) 

Among the Dyaks of Borneo "all the married women are tattooed 
on the hands and feet, and sometimes on the thighs. The decoration 
is one of the privileges of matrimony, and is not permitted to unmar- 
ried girls." — ("Head-Hunters of Borneo," Carl Bock, London, 1881, 
p. 67.) 

A recent writer has the following to say on this subject : " The tat- 
too marks make it possible to discover the remote connection between 
clans ; aiad this token has such a powerful influence upon the mind 
that there is no feud between tribes which are tattooed in the same way. 
The type of the marks must be referred to the animal kingdom ; yet 
we cannot discover any tradition or myth which relates to the custom. 
There is no reason for asserting that there is any connection between 
the tattoo marks and Toteraism, although I am personally disposed to 
think that this is sometimes the case. The tattooing, which usually 
consists in the imitation of some animal forms, may lead to the wor- 
ship of such animals as religious objects." (" The Primitive Famil}'," 
C. N. Starcke, Ph. D., New York, 1889, p. 42.) Here is an example 
of putting the cart before the horse ; in all cases investigation will show 
that the animal was a god, and for that reason was imprinted on the 
person of the worshipper as a vow of supplication or prayer. 

In another place the same writer says that tattooing had " to be 
performed by a priest." — (Idem, p. 241.) 

The religious element in Totemism has been plainly revealed by W. 
Robertson Smith in Encyclopaedia Britannica, article " Sacrifice," and 
by James G. Frazer, M.A., in his " Totemism," Edinburgh, 1887. 


Andrew Lang devotes several chapters to the subject (" Myth, Ritual, 
and Religion," London, 1887, vol. i. cap. 3). He says of the Australian 
tribes : " There is some evidence that in certain tribes the wiugong or 
totem of each man is indicated by a tattooed representation of it upon 
liis flesh " (p. G5). On another page, quoting from Long's " Voyages," 
1791, he says: " Tlie ceremony of adoption was painful, beginning 
with a feast of dog's flesh, followed by a Turkish bath, and a prolonged 
process of tattooing." — (Idem, p. 71.) 

A traveller of considerable intelligence comments in these terms 
upon the bodily ornamentation of the Burmese : — 

" Burmah is the land of the tattooed man. ... In my visit to 
the great prison here, which contains more than three thousand men, 
I saw six thousand tattooed legs. . . . The origin of the custom I 
have not been able to find out. It is here the Burmese sign of 
manhood, and there is as much ceremony about it as there is about 
the ear-piercing of girls which chronicles their entrance upon woman- 
hood. Tliere are professional tattooers, who go about with books 
of designs. . . . The people are superstitious about it ; and certain 
kinds of tattooing are supposed to ward off" disease. One kind 
wards off the snake-bite, and another prevents a man from drown- 
ing." — (Frank G. Carpenter, in the " Bee," Omaha, !Xebraska, May 
19, 1889.) 

Surgeon Corbusier, U. S. Army, says of the Apache-Yumas of Arizona 
Territory, that " the married women are distinguished by seven nar- 
row blue lines running from the lower lip down to the chin. . . . 
Tattooing is practised by the women, rarely by the men. ... A 
young woman, when anxious to become a mother, tattooes the figure of 
a child on her forehead." — (In the "American Antiquarian," Novem- 
ber, 1886.) 

The "sectarial marks" of the Hindus are possibly vestiges of a for- 
mer practice of tattooing. Coleman (" Mythology of the Hindus," 
London, 1832, p. 165) has a reference to them. 

Squier, in his monograph upon " Manobosho," in " American His- 
torical Review," 1848, says that the Mandans have a myth in which 
occurs the name of a god, " Tattooed Face." 

Alice Oatman stated distinctly that " she was tattooed by two of 
their (Mojaves) physicians," and " marked, not as they marked their 
women, but as they marked their captives." Be that as it may, the 
four lines on her chin, as well as can be discerned from the indifferent 
woodcut, are the same as can be seen upon the chins of Mojave 


women to-day. — (See Stratton's " Captivity of the Oatman Girls," 
San Francisco, 1857, pp. 151, 152.) 

Maltebrun says of the inhabitants of the Island of Formosa : " Their 
skin is covered with indelible marks, representing trees, animals, and 
flowers of grotesque forms." — ("Universal Geography," American 
edition, Philadelphia, 1832, vol. ii. lib. 43, p. 79, article "China.") 

"The practice of marking the skin with the figures of animals, 
flowers, or stars, which was in existence before the time of Mahomet, 
has still left traces among the Bedouin women." — (Idem, vol. i. lib. 30, 
p. 395.) 

Speaking of the Persian ladies, the same authority says : " They 
stain their bodies with the figures of trees, birds, and beasts, sun, moon, 
and stars." — (Idem, vol. i. lib. 33, p. 428, article " Persia.") 

In the " Transactions of the Ethnological Society of London," 
vol. vi., it is stated that the " Oraon boys (India) are marked when 
children on the arms by a rather severe process of puncturation, which 
they consider it manly to endure." 

" Mojave girls, after they marry, tattoo the chin with vertical blue 
lines." — (Palmer, quoted by H. H. Bancroft in "Native Races," 
vol. i. p. 480.) 

In the cannibal feast of the Tupis of the Amazon, Southey says, " The 
chief of the clan scarified the arms of the Matador above the elbow, 
so as to leave a permanent mark there ; and this was the Star and 
Gai'ter of their ambition, the highest badge of honor. There were 
some who cut gashes in their breast, arms, and thighs on these occa- 
sions, and rubbed a black powder in, which left an indelible stain." — 
(Quoted by Herbert Spencer in "Descriptive Sociology.") 

'* A savage man meets a savage maid. She does not speak his 
language, nor he hers. How are they to know whether, according 
to the marriage laws of their race, they are lawful mates for each 
other 1 This important question is settled by an inspection of their 
tattoo marks. If a Thlinkeet man, of the Swan stock, meets an 
Iroquois maid, of the Swan stock, they cannot speak to each other, 
and the * gesture language ' is cumbrous. But if both are tattooed 
with the Swan, then the man knows that this daughter of the Swan 
is not for him. . . . The case of the Thlinkeet man and the Iroquois 
maid is extremely unlikely to occur, but I give it as an example of the 
practical use among savages of representative art." — (" Custom and 
Myth," Andrew Lang, New York. 1885, p. 292.) 

" Tattooing is fetichistic in origin. Among all the tribes, almost 


every Indian has the image of an animal tattooed on his breast or arm, 
which can charm away an evil spirit or prevent harm to them." — 
(Dorman, "Primitive Superstition," New York, 1881, p. 15G.) 

" The Eskimo wife has her face tattooed with lamp-black, and is 
regarded as a matron in society." — (" Schwatka's Search," William 
II. Gilder, Xew York, 1881, p. 250.) "I never saw any attempt at 
hgure or animal drawing for personal ornamentation. The forms are 
generally geometrical in design and symmetrical in arrangement. . . . 
None of the men are tattoed." — (Idem, p. 251.) 

" The Mojaves of the Rio Colorado tattoo, but the explanation of 
the marks was exceedingly vague and unsatisfactory. The women, 
upon attaining puberty, are tattooed upon the chin, and there seem to 
be four different patterns followed, probably representing as many 
different phratric or clan systems in former times." — (See the author's 
article in the " Journal of American Folk- Lore," Cambridge, Mass., 
July-September, 1888, entitled "Notes on the Cosmogony and The- 
ogony of the Mojaves.") 

Swan, in his notes upon the Indians of Cape Flattery, contents 
himself with observing that their tattooing is performed with coal and 
human urine. 

" In order that the ghost may travel tlie ghost road in safety, it is 
necessary for each Lakota during his life to be tattooed either in the 
middle of the forehead or on the wrists. In that event, his spirit will 
go directly to the ' Many Lodges.' . . . An old woman sits in the 
road, and she examines each ghost that passes. If she cannot find 
the tattoo-mai'ks on the forehead, wrists, or chin, the unhappy ghost 
is pushed from a cloud or cliff, and falls to this world." — (Dr. J. 
Owen Dorsey, in the " Journal of American Folk-Lore," April, 1889.) 

Of the islands of the South Pacific, Kotzebue says, " I believe that 
tattooing in these islands is a religious custom ; at least, they refused 
it to several of our gentlemen at Otdia, assuring them that it could 
only be done in Egerup." — ("Voyages." vol. ii. pp. 113, 135, 
London, 1821.) 

" Tattooing is by no means confined to the Polynesians, but this 
'dermal art' is certainly carried by them to an extent which is un- 
equalled 'l)y any other people. ; . . It is practised by all classes. . . . 
By the vast number of them it is adopted simply as a personal orna- 
ment, though there are some grounds for believing that the tattoo 
may, in a few cases and to a small extent, be looked upon as a badge 
of mourning or a memento of a departed friend. Like everything 


else in Polynesia, its origin is related in a legend which credits its 
invention to the gods, and says it was first practised by the children 
of Tharoa, their principal deity. The sons of Tharoa and Apouvarou 
were the gods of tattooing, and their images were kept in the temples 
of those who practised the art as a profession, and to them petitions 
are offered that the figures might be handsome, attract attention, and 
otlierwise accomplish the purpose for which they submitted themselves 
to this painful operation. ... To show any signs of suffering under 
the operation is looked upon as disgraceful." — ("World," New York, 
May 10, 1890, quoting from "The Peoples of the World.") 

" In the Tonga and Samoan Islands, the young men were all tat- 
tooed upon reaching manhood ; before this, they could not think of 
marriage. . . . Tattooing is still kept up to some extent, and is a 
regular profession. . . . There are two gods, patrons of tattooing, — 
Taema and Tilfanga." — (See Turner's '"' Samoa.") 

"One of the features of the Initiation among the Port Lincoln 
tribe was the tattooing of the young man and the conferring of a 
new name upon him." — ("The Native Tribes of South Australia," 
Adelaide, 1879, received through the kindness of the Eoyal Society, 
New South Wales, T. B. Kyngdon, Secretary.) 

It is well to observe that each tribe in a given section has not only 
its own pattern of tattooing, but its own ideas of the parts of the 
person to which the tattooing should be applied. Thus, among the 
Indians of the northwest coast of British Columbia, " Tattooings are 
found on arms, breast, back, legs, and feet among the Haidas; on 
arms and feet among the Tshimshian, Kwakiutl, and Bilqula; on 
breast and arms among the Nootka ; on the jaw among the coast 
Salish women." — ("Report on the Northwestern Tribes of Canada," 
Franz Boas, in " Trans. Brit. Assoc. Advancement of Science," New- 
castle-upon-Tyne meeting, 1889, p. 12.) 

Sullivan states that the custom of tattooing continued in England 
and Ireland down to the seventh century; this was the tattooing with 
woad. — (See his Introduction to O'Curry's " Manners and Customs 
of the Ancient Irish," p. 455.) 

The Inuits believe that "les femmes bien tatouees" are sure of 
felicity in the world to come. — (See " Les Primitifs," Reclus, Paris, 
1885, p. 120.) 

" Although the practice of the art is so ancient that we have 
evidence of its existence in prehistoric times, and that the earliest 
chronicles of our race contain references to it, yet the term itself is 


comparatively modem. . . . The universality as well as the great 
antiquity of the custom has been shown by a French author, Ernest 
Berchon, 'Histoire Mcdicale du Tatouage,' Paris, 18G9, which begins 
with a quotation from Leviticus xiv., which in the English version 
reads thus: 'Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the 
dead, nor print any marks upon you.' Don Calmet, in commenting 
upon this passage, says that the Hebrew literally means ' a writing of 
spots.' Many Italians have been tattooed at Loretto. Around this 
famous shrine are seen professional tattooers, ' Marcatori,' who charge 
from half to three quarters of a lire for producing a design commemo- 
rative of the pilgrim's visit to the shrine of Our Lady of Loretto. A 
like profitable industry is pursued at Jerusalem . . . Religion has 
some influence (in the matter of tattooing) from its tendency to pre- 
serve ancient customs. At Loretto and Jerusalem tattooing is almost 
a sacred observance." — (" Tattooing among Civilized People," Dr. 
Robert Fletcher, Anthropological Society, Washington, D. C, 1883, 
pp. 4, 12, and 26.) 

" Father Mathias G. says that in Oceania every royal or princely 
family has a family of tattooers especially devoted to their service, and 
that none other can be permitted to produce the necessary adorn- 
ment." — (Idem, p. 24.) 

" Tatowiren, Narbenzeichnen und Korperbemalen " (Tattooing, Cica- 
tricial Marking and Body Painting), by Wilhelm Joest, Berlin, 1887, 
a superbly illustrated volume, has been reviewed by Surgeon Wash- 
ington ^latthews, U. S. Army, in the " American Anthropologist," 
Washington, D. C, ending in these words, "The author's ojjinion, 
however, that ' tattooing has nothing to do with the religion of sav- 
ages, but is only a sport or means of adornment, which, at most, has 
connection with the attainment of maturity,' is one which will not be 
generally concurred in by those who have studied this practice as it 
exists among our American savages." 


In the interior of China, travellers relate that copper receptacles 
along the roadsides rescue from loss a fertilizer whose value is fully 

These copper receptacles recall the " Gastra," of the Romans, already 
referred to under the heading of " Latrines." 

" Les Chinois fument leurs terres autant que cela est en leur pou- 


voir; ils eruploient k cet usage toutes sortes d'engrais, mais principale- 
ment les excrements humains, qu'ils receiiillent a cet effet avec grand 
8oin. On trouve dans les villes, dans les villages, et siir les routes, des 
endroita faits expres pour la commodity des passans, et dans les lieux 
ou il n'y a pas de semblables facilites, des hommes vont ramasser soir 
et matin les ordures et les mettent dans des panniers a I'aide d'un croc 
de fer a trois pointes. 

" On traffique dans ce pays de ce qu'on rejette ailleurs avec horrcur 
et celui qui re^oit d'argent en France pour nettoyer une fosse, en donne 
au contraire en Chine pour avoir la liberte d'en faire autant. Les ex- 
crements sont portes dans de grands trous bien mastiques, faits en plein 
campagne, dans lesquels on les delaye avec de I'eau et de I'urine et on 
les repand dans les champs a mesui'e qu'on a besoin. On rencontre 
souvent sur la riviere a Quanton des bateaux d'une forme particuliere 
destines au transport de ces ordures et ce n'est pas sans surprise qu'on 
en voit les conducteurs etre aussi pen affectes qu'ils le paroissent de 
I'odeur agreable d'une pareille marchandise." — ("Voyage a Pekin," 
De Guignes, Paris, 1808, vol. iii. p. 322.) 

" The dung of all animals is esteemed above any other kind of 
manure. It often becomes an article of commerce in the shape of 
small cakes, which are made by mixing it with a portion of loam and 
earth, and then thoroughly drying them. These cakes are even 
brought from Siam, and they also form an article of commerce between 
the provinces. They are never applied dry, but are diluted with as 
much animal water as can be procured." — ("Chinese Repository," 
Canton, 1835, vol. iii. p. 124.) 

" They even make sale of that which is sent privately to some dis- 
tance in Europe at midnight." (Du Halde, "History of China," 
London, 1736, vol. it. p. 126.) This statement of Father Du Halde 
can be compared with what Bernal Diaz says of the markets of the 
city of Mexico at the time of Cortes : " There are in every province a 
great number of people who carry pails for this purpose ; in some 
places they go with their barks into the canals which run on the back 
side of the houses, and fill them at almost every hour of the day." — 
(Du Halde, idem, p. 126.) 

Eosinus Lentilius, in " Ephemeridum Physico-Medicorum," Leipsig, 
1694, states that the people of China and Java buy human ordure in 
exchange for tobacco and nuts. This was probably on account of its 
value in manuring their fields, which, he tells us (p. 170), was done 
three times a year with human ordure. This leads him to make the 


reflection that raan runs back to excrement, — " Unde stercua in ali- 
mentum et hoc rursum iu stercus." 

" The J.apanese manure their fields with human ordure. — (See Kem- 
per's " History of Japan," iu Pinkerton, vol. vii. p. 698.) 

" Yea, the dung of men is there sold, and not the worse merchandise, 
that stink yielding sweet wealth to some who goe tabouring up and 
down the streetes to signifie what they woulde buy. Two or three hun- 
dred sayle are sometimes freighted with this lading in some Port of 
tlie Sea ; whence the fatted soyle yields three Haruests in a yeare." — 
(Mendex Pinto, "Account of China," in Purchas, vol. i. p. 270.) 

" Heaps of manure in every field, at proper distances, ready to be 
scattered over the corn." — (Turner, "Embassy to Tibet," London, 
1806, p. 62.) 

The Persians used pigeon's dung " to smoak their melons." — (John 
Matthews Eaton, " Treatise on Breeding Pigeons," London, no date, 
pp. 39, 40, quoting from Tavernier's first volume of '* Persian 

The finest variety of melon, "the sugar melon," "cultivated with 
the greatest care with the dung of pigeons kept for the purpose," — 
(" Persia," Benjamin, London, 1877, p. 428.) 

Fosbroke cites Tavernier as saying that the King of Persia draws a 
greater revenue from " the dung than from the pigeons " belonging to 
him in Ispahan. The Persians are said to live on melons during the 
summer months, and " to nse pigeons' dung in raising them." — (" Cy- 
clopjedia of Antiquities," vol. ii.) 

Human manure was best for fields, according to Pliny (Nat. Hist, 
lib. 17, cap. 9). Homer relates that King Laertes laid dung upon his 
fields. Augeas was the first king among the Greeks so to use it, and 
'' Hercules divulged the practice thereof among the Italians." — (Pliny, 
idem, Holland's translation.) 

Urine was considered one of the best manures for vines. " Wounds 
and incisions of trees are treated also with pigeon's dung and swine 
manure. ... If pomegranates are acid, the roots of the tree are 
cleared, and swine's dung is applied to them ; the result is that in the 
first year the fruit will have a vinous flavor, but in the succeeding one 
it will be sweet. . . . The pomegranates should be watered four times 
a year with a mixture of human urine and water. . . . For the purpose 
of preventing animals from doing mischief by browsing upon the 
leaves, they should be sprinkled with cow-dung each time after rain." 
— (Pliny, lib. 17, cap. 47.) 


Schurig calls attention to the great value attached by farmers and 
viticulturists to human ordure, either alone or mixed with that of ani- 
mals, in feeding hogs, in fertilizing fields, and in adding richness to 
the soil in which vines grow. See " Chylologia," p. 795. 

In Germany and France, during the past century, fanners and 
gardeners were generally careful of this fertilizer. 

" In the valley of Cuzco, Peru, and, indeed, in almost all parts of 
the Sierra, they used human manure for the maize crops, because 
they said it was the best." — (Garcillasso de la Vega, " Comentarios 
Eeales," Clement C. Markham's translation, in Hakluyt Society, vol. 
xlv. p. 11.) 

" Conocian tambien el use de estercolar las tierras q»ie ellos llama- 
ban Vunaltu." — (" Historia Civil del Reyno de Chile," Don Juan 
Ignacio Molina, edition of Madrid, 1788, p. 15.) 

Amelie Eives, in her story " Virginia of Virginia," relates that a cer- 
tain family of Virginia was taken down with the typhoid fever on ac- 
count of " making fertilizer in the cellar." We may infer that this 
" fertilizer " was largely composed of manure. This is the interview 
between Mr. Scott and Miss Virginia Herrick : " * The tarryfied fever 's 
a-ragin' up ter Annesville,' he announced presently. Virginia faced 
about for the first time. 'Is it 1 " she asked ; * who 's down 1 ' 
' jSTigh all of them Davises. The doctor says as how it 's 'count o' 
their makin' fertilizer in their cellar.' " — (In " Harper's Magazine," 
New York, January, 1888, p. 223.) 

Animal manure was known as a fertilizer to the Jews (2 Kings ix. 37 ; 
Jeremiah viii. 2, ix. 22, xvi. 4, and xsv, 33). Human manure also. 
(Consult McClintock and Strong's Encyclopaedia, article "Dung.") 


Gomara explains that, mixed with palm-scrapings, human urine 
served as salt to the Indians of Bogota, — " Hacen sal de raspadurvis 
de palma y orinas de hombre." — (" Hist, de las Indias," p. 202.) 

Salt is made by the Latookas of the "White Nile from the ashes of 
goat's dung. — (See " The Albert Nyanza," Sir Samuel Baker, Phila- 
delphia, 1869, p. 224.) 

Pallas states that the Buriats of Siberia, in collecting salts from the 
shores of certain lakes in their country, are careful as to the taste of 
the same : " lis n'emploient que ceux qui ont un gout d'Urine et d'al- 
kali." ("Voyages," Paris, 1793, vol. iv. p. 246.) This shows that 



they must once have used urine for salt, as so many other tribes have 

The Siberians gave human urine to their reindeer : " Nothing is so 
acceptable to a reindeer as human urine, and I have even seen them run 
to get it as occasion offered." — (John Dundas Cochrane, " Pedestrian 
Journey Through Siberian Tartary," 1820-23, Philadelphia, 1824, 
p. 235.) 

Melville also relates that he saw the drivers urinate into the mouths 
of their reindeer in the Lena Delta. — (Personal letter to Captain 

Here the intent was evident ; the animals needed salt, and no other 
method of obtaining it was feasible during the winter months. Coch- 
rane is speaking of the Tchuktchi ; but he was also among Yakuts 
and other tribes. He walked from St. Petersburg to Kamtschatka and 
from point to point in Siberia for a total distance of over six thousand 
miles. His pages are dark with censure of the filthy and disgusting 
habits of the savage nomads, as, of the Yakuts, "Their stench and filth 
are inconceivable. . . . The large tents (of the Tchuktchi) were dis- 
giistingly dirty and offensive, exhibiting every species of grossness and 
indelicacy." Inside the tents men, women, and girls were absolutely 
naked. " They drink only snow-water during the winter, to melt 
which, when no wood can be had, very disgusting and dirty means are 
resorted to," etc. But nowhere does he speak of the drinking of hu- 
man urine, which, as has been learned from other sources, does obtain 
among them. 

(Tchuktchees of Siberia.) "It would be impossible, with decency, 
to describe their habits, or explain how their very efforts towards 
cleanliness make them all the more disgusting. ... It requires con- 
siderable habitude or terrible experience in the ojjcu air to find any 
degree of comfort in such abodes. The Augean stables or the stump- 
tail cow-sheds appear like Paradise in comparison." — ("Ice-Pack and 
Tundra," Gilder, New York, 1883, p. 105.) 


Diderot and D'Alembert say that the sal ammoniac of the ancients 
was prepared with the urine of camels ; that phosphorus, as then 
manufactured in England, was made with human urine, as was also 
saltpetre. — (Encyclopaedia, Geneva, 1789, article "Urine.") 

Sal ammoniac derives its name from having been first made in the 


vicinity of the temple of Jupiter Ammon ; it would be of consequence 
to us to know whether or not the priests of that temple had adminis- 
tered urine in disease before they learned how to extract from it the 
medicinal salt which has come down to our own times. 

Schurig devotes a chapter to the medicinal preparations made from 
human ordure. In every case the ordure had to be that of a youth 
from twenty-five to thirty years old. This manner of preparing chem- 
icals from the human excreta, including phosphorus from urine, was 
carried to such a pitch that some philosophers believed the philoso- 
pher's stone was to be found by mixing the salts obtained from human 
urine with those obtained from human excrement. — (See " Chylo- 
logia," pp. 739-742.) 

The method of obtaining sal ammoniac was not known to Pliny ; he 
knew of gum ammoniac, which he says distilled from a tree, called 
metopia, grow'ing in the sands near the Temple of Jupiter Ammon, in 
Ethiopia. — (Nat. Hist. lib. 12, cap. 22.) 

" A notion has prevailed that sal ammoniac was made of the sand 
on which camels had staled, and that a great number going to the 
temple of Jupiter Ammon gave occasion for the name of ammoniac, 
corrupted to armoniac. Whether it ever could be made by taking up 
the sand and preparing it with fire, as they do the dung at present, 
those who are best acquainted with the nature of these things will be 
best able to judge. I was informed that it was made of the soot 
which is caused by burning the dung of cows and other animals. The 
hotter it is the better it produces ; and for that reason the dung of 
pigeons is the best ; that of camels is also much esteemed." (Here 
follows a description of the method of distilling this soot.) — (Pocock's 
"Travels in Egypt," in Pinkerton, vol. xv. p. 381.) 

" Purifi^e, rUrine sert dans les arts pour degraisser lea laines, dis- 
soudre I'indigo, prepare le sel ammoniac." — (Personal letter from 
Prof. Frank Rede Fowke, South Kensington Museum, June 18, 


The employment of manures as fuel for firing pottery among 
Moquis, Zunis, and other Pueblos, and for general heating in Thibet, 
has been pointed out by the author in a former work. ("Snake 
Dance of the Moquis," London, 1884.) It was used for the same 
purpose in Africa, according to Mungo Park. (" Travels," etc., p. 119.) 
The dung of the buffalo served the same purpose in the domestic 


economy of the Plains Indians. Camel dung is the fuel of the 
Eedouins ; that of men and animals alike was saved and dried by 
the Syrians, Arabians, Egyptians, and people of West of England for 
fuel. Egyptians heated their lime-kilns with it. — (McClintock and 
Strong, "Dung." See, also, Kitto's Biblical Encyclopaedia, article 

Pocock says of camel dung : " In order to make fuel of it, they mix 
it, if I mistake not, with chopped straw, and, I think, sometimes with 
earth, and make it into cakes and dry it ; and it is burnt by the 
common people in Egypt ; for the wood they bum at Cairo is very 
dear, as it is brought from Asia Minor." — (Pocock, in Pinkerton, 
vol. XV. p. 381.) 

Bruce does not allude to any of the filthy customs which are de- 
tailed by Schweinfurth, Sir Samuel Baker, and others ; he does say that 
the Nuba of the villages called Daher, at the head of the White Nile, 
Abyssinia, " never eat their meat raw as in Abyssinia ; but with the 
stalk of the dura or millet and the dung of camels they make ovens 
under ground, in which they roast their hogs whole, in a very cleanly 
and not disagreeable manner." — ("Nile," Dublin, 1791, vol. v. p. 

"Argol, the dried dung of camels, is the common fuel of Mongo- 
lia." — ("Among the Mongols," Rev. James Gilmour, London, 1883, 
pp. 84, 146, 191, 296.) 

The dung of camels is the fuel of the Kirghis. — (See " Oriental 
and Western Siberia," T. W. Atkinson, New York, 1865, pp. 218, 

See also "From Paris to Pekin," Meignan, London, 1885, pp. 186, 
306, 310, 333; Burton's edition of the "Arabian Nights," vol. iii. 
p. 51 ; Father Gerbillon's Account of Tartary, in Du Halde, vol. iv. 
p. 151.) 

"Asses' dung used for fuel and other purposes, such as making Joss 
sticks." — (Burton's edition of the "Arabian Nights," vol. ii. p. 149, 
footnote. ) 

Cow-dung fuel and sheep-dung fuel alluded to by Hue, as used in 
Thibet. — (See also Manning, Bogle, and Delia Penna, in Markham's 
"Thibet," London, 1879, p. 70.) 

Friar William de Rubruquis, the ^Minorite, sent as ambassador to 
the Grand Khan of Tartary, by Saint Louis, King of France, in 1253, 
speaks of eating " Unleavened bread baked in Oxe-Dung or Horse- 
dung " (in Purchas, vol. i. p. 34). Cow dung used for the same pur- 


pose iu Thibet. — (See Turner's "Embassy to Thibet," Loudon, 180G, 
p. 202.) 

" Cowe-dung fewell," in Malta, mentioned by Master George Sandys, 
A.D. 1610 (in Purchas, vol. ii. 916). — ("Stercus bouinum," in Egypt, 
idem, vol, ii. p. 898.) 

Yak manure used as fuel in Eastern Thibet, according to W. W. 
Eockhill in "Border Land of China," in "Century " Magazine, New 
York, 1890. 

Cow manure employed for the same purpose by the people of Tur- 
key in Asia, in the valley of the Tigris, near Mosul, according to George 
Smith. — ("Assyrian Discoveries," New York, 1876, p. 122.) 

The "whole fuel'" of the Mongols is "cow or horse dung dried in 
the sun." — (Father Gerbillon's Account of Tartary, in Du Halde, 
vol. iv. pp. 234, 270.) 

The use of cow-dung as fuel in certain parts of the world would seem 
not to be entirely divested of the religious idea. 

" Firewood at Seringapatam is a dear article, and the fuel most com- 
monly used is cow-dung made up into cakes. This, indeed, is much 
used in every part of India, especially by men of rank ; as, from the 
veneration paid the cow, it is considered as by far the most pure sub- 
stance that can be employed. Every herd of cattle, when at pasture, 
is attended by women, and these often of high caste, who with their 
hands gather up the dung and carry it home in baskets. 

" They then form it into cakes, about half an inch thick, and nine 
inches in diameter, and stick them on the walls to dry. So different 
indeed are Hindu notions of cleanliness from ours that the walls of 
their best houses are frequently bedaubed with these cakes ; and every 
morning numerous females, from all parts of the neighborhood, bring 
for sale into Seringapatam baskets of this fuel. Many females who 
carry large baskets of cow-dung on their heads are well-dressed and 
elegantly formed girls." — ("A Journey through Mysore," Buchanan, 
Pinkertou, vol. viii. p. 612.) 


Dried ordure is generally used for smudges, to drive away insects ; 
the Indians of the Great Plains beyond the Missouri burned the 
" chips " of the buffalo with this object. 

The natives of the White Nile "make tumuli of dung which are 
constantly on fire, fresh fuel being added constantly, to drive away the 
mosquitoes." — (" The Albert Nyanza," Baker, p. 53.) 


"When they burn it (the dung of a camel) the smoke which pro- 
ceeds from it destroys Gnats and all kinds of vermin." — (Chinese 
recipes given in Du Halde's " History of China," vol. iv. p. 34.) 

Schweinfurth describes the Shillooks of the west bank of the Nile as 
" burning heaps of cow-dung to keep off the flies." — (" Heart of 
Africa," vol. i. p. 16. See also "Central Africa," Chaille Long, New 
York, 1877, p. 215.) 

Such smudges were employed by the Arabians to kill bed-bugs. 
"Effugatione Cimicum " effected by a "suffumigium" of "stercore 
vaccine." — ("Avicenna," vol. ii. p. 214, a 47.) 

Rev. James Gilmour describes a mode of extinguishing a burning 
tent, observed among the Mongols, the counterpart of which is to be 
found in "Gulliver's Travels." — -(See "Among the Mongols," p. 23.) 

Lucius Cataline, accused by Marcus Cicero of raising a flame in the 
city of Rome, "I believe it," said he, "and, if I cannot extinguish it 
with water, I will with urine." — (Harington, "Ajax," cap. "Ulysses 
upon Ajax," p. 22.) 


For shampooing the hair, urine was the favorite medium among the 

Sahagun, gives in detail the formula of the preparation applied by 
the Mexicans for the eradication of dandruff" : " Cut the hair close to 
the root, wash head well with urine, and afterward take amole (soap- 
weed) and coixochitl leaves — the amole is the wormwood of this 
country [in this Sahagun is mistaken] — and then the kernels of 
aguacate ground up and mixed with the ashes already spoken of 
(wood ashes from the fire-place), and then rub on black mud with a 
quantity of the bark mentioned (mesquite)." ^ 

A similar method of dressing the hair, but without urine, prevails 
among the Indians along the Rio Colorado and in Sonora, Mexico. 

1 See Graah, "Greenland," London, 1837, p. Ill, and Hans Egede Saabye, 
"Greenland," London, 1818, p. 256. 

2 Contra la caspa sera necesario cortar muy d raiz los cabellos y lavarse la cabeza 
con orinas y despues toinar las hojas de ciertas yerbas que en indio se llaman coio- 
xochitl y amolli 6 iztahuatl que es el agenjo de esta tierra, y con el cuesco del agua- 
cate inolido y mezclado con el cisco que esta dicho arriba ; y sobre esto se ha de 
poner, el barro negro que esta referido, con cantidad de la corteza de lo dicho. — 
(Sahagun, in Kingsborough, vol. vii. p. 294.) 


First, an application is made of a mixture of river mud ("blue mud," 
as it is called in Arizona) and pounded mesquite bark. After three 
days this is removed, and the hair thoroughly washed with water in 
which the saponaceous roots of the amole have been steeped. The 
hair is dyed a rich blue-black, and remains soft, smooth, and glossy. 

Dove-dung was also applied externally in the treatment of baldness. 
— (Hippocrates, Kuhn, lib. 2, p. 854.) 

The urine of the foal of an ass was supposed to thicken the hair. 
(See Pliny, lib. xxviii. cap 11.) Camel's dung, reduced to ashes and 
mixed with oil, was said to curl and frizzle the hair (idem, lib. xxviii. 
cap. 8). The natives of the Nile above Khartoum have " their hair 
stained red by a plaster of ashes and cow's urine." — (" The Albert 
Nyanza," Sir Samuel Baker, p. 39.) 

And the Shillooks of the west bank make " repeated applications of 
clay, gum, or dung," to their hair. — ("Heart of Africa," Schwein- 
furth, vol. i. p. 17 ; idem, the IS'ueirs, p. 32.) 

L'aqua ex stercore distillata fait pousser les cheveux " ("Cib. Scat. 
p. 29), while Schurig (Chylologia, p. 760) says that the same prepara- 
tion " promotes the growth of the hair and prevents its falling out." 

Schurig further says that swallow-dung was of conceded efficacy 
as a hair-dye, and was applied frequently as an ointment. (Idem, 
p. 817.) He recommends the use of mouse-dung for scald head and 
dandruff, and even to excite the growth of the beard. (Idem, p. 823 
et seq.) Ammonia, or, more properly speaking, "the ashes of harts- 
horn, burnt and applied with wine," was known to Pliny as a remedy 
fur dandruff. (Pliny, lib. xxviii. cap. 11.) Possibly the use of harts- 
horn for this purpose sprang from the prior use of urine, from which 
hartshorn or ammonia was gradually manufactured. 

For loss of hair, the dung of pigeons, cats, rats, mice, geese, swal- 
lows, rabbits, or goats, or human urine, applied externally, were highly 
recommended by Paullini, in his " Dreck Apothek," Frankfort, 1696. 

Cat-dung was highly recommended by Sextus Placitus. 


Among the Shillooks, "ashes, dung, and the urine of cows are the 
indispensable requisites of the toilet. The item last named affects the 
nose of the stranger rather unpleasantly when he makes use of any of 
their milk vessels, as, according to a regular African habit, they are 
washed with it, probably to compensate for a lack of salt." — ("Heart 
of Africa," Schweinfurth, vol. i. p. IG.) 


" The Obbo natives are similar to the Bari in some of their habits. 
I have had great difficulty in breaking my cow-keeper of his disgusting 
custom of washing the milk-bowl with cow's urine, and even mixing 
some with the milk. He declares that unless he washes his hands 
with such water before milking the cow will lose her milk. This filthy 
custom is unaccountable." — (" The Albert Nyanza," Baker, p. 240.) 

A personal letter from Chief Engineer Melville, U. S. Navy, states 
that the natives of Eastern Siberia use urine " for cleansing their 
culinary materials." 

By the tribes on Lake Albert Nyanza, the " butter was invariably 
packed in a plantain leaf, but frequently the package was plastered 
with cow-dung and clay." (" The Albert Nyanza," p. 363. See, also, 
extract from PauUini, on p. 316, and from Schurig, p. 121, of this 
volume.) There certainly seems to be a trace of superstition in the 
first case mentioned by Sir Samuel Baker. 

In the County Cork, Ireland, rusty tin dishes are scoured with cow 
manure ; the manure is blessed, and so will benefit the dishes and 
bring good luck. It is a not infrequent custom to bury "keelars" and 
other dishes for holding milk under a manure-heap during the winter 
and early spring (when cows are apt to be dry, and the milk-dishes 
empty), to protect them (the dishes) from persons evilly disposed, who 
might cast a spell on them, and so bewitch either the cows or the milk. 
Such an evil-eyed person could not harm a dish unless empty. 

"The cow is believed to be a blessed animal, and hence the manure 
is sacred." (Personal letter from Mrs. Fanny D. Bergen, Cambridge, 
Mass.) This belief of the Celtic peasantry apparently connects itself 
Avith the religious veneration in which the cow is held by the people 
of India. 


The Eskimo relate stories of a people who preceded them in the 
Polar regions called the Tornit. Of these predecessors, they say, 
" Their way of preparing meat was disgusting, since they let it become 
putrid, and placed it between the thigh and the belly to warm it." — 
(" The Central Eskimo," Dr. Franz Boas, in Sixth Annual Report, 
Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, D. C, 1888, p. 635.) 

This recalls the similar method of the Tartars, who used to seat 
themselves on their horses with their meat under them. 




Wf HERE urine is applied in bodily ablutions, the object sought is 

" undoubtedly the procuring of ammonia by oxidation, and in no 
case of that kind is it sought to ascribe an association of religious 
ideas. But where the ablutions are attended with ceremonial obser- 
vances, are incorporated in a ritual, or take place in chambers reserved 
for sacred purposes, it is not unfair to suggest that everything made 
use of, including the urine, has a sacred or a semi-sacred significance. 

No difficulty is experienced in assigning to their ])roper categories 
the urinal ablutions of the Eskimo of Greenland (Hans Egede Saabye, 
p. 256) ; of the Alaskans (Sabytschew, in Phillips, vol. vi.) ; of the 
Indians of the northwest coast of America (Whymper's " Alaska," 
London, 18GS, p. U2 ; H. H. Bancroft, "Nat. Races," vol. i. p. 83) ; 
of the Indians of Cape Flattery (Swan, in " Smithsonian Coutrib.") ; 
of the people of Iceland (see below) ; of Siberia (see below) ; and of 
the savages of Lower California. 

Pericuis of Lower California. " Mothers, to protect them against 
the weather, cover the entire bodies of their children with a varnish 
of coal and urine." — (Bancroft, vol. i. p. 559.) 

Clavigero not only tells all that Bancroft does, but he adds that the 
women of California washed their own faces in urine. — (" Hist, de 
Raja California," Mexico, 1852, p. 28; see, also, Orozco y Berra and 

" People of Iceland are reported to wash their faces and hands in 
pisse." (Hakluyt, " Voyages," vol. i. p. 664.) This report was, how- 
ever, indignantly denied of all but the common people by Arugriauus 
Jonas, an Icelandic writer. 

The inhabitants of Ounalashka " wash themselves first with their 
own urine, and afterwards with water." — ("Russian Discoveries," 
William Coxe, London, 1803, quoting Solovoofs "Voyage," 176-4, 
p. 226.) 


In the same volume is to be found the statement that in Alaska and 
the Fox Islands, the people •' washed themselves, according to custom, 
tirst with urine, and then with water." — (p. 225, quoting " Voyage of 
Captain Krenitzin," 1768.) 

When a child gets very dirty " with soot and grease," a Vancouver 
squaw uses " stale urine " to cleanse it. " This species of alkali as a 
substitute for soap is the general accompaniment of the morning 
toilet of both sexes, male and female. During winter they periodically 
scrub themselves with sand and urine." — (J. G. Swan, "Indians of 
Cape Flattery, Smithsonian Coutributious to Knowledge," No. 220, 
p. 19.) 

Among the Tchuktchees, urine " is a useful article in their house- 
hold economy, being preserved in a special vessel, and employed as a 
soap or lye for cleansing bodies or clothing." — (" In the Lena Delta," 
Melville, p. 318.) 

" But they also wash themselves, as well as their clothes, with it ; 
and even in the hot bath, of which men and women are alike fond, 
because they love to perspire, it is with this fluid they sometimes make 
their ablutions." — (Lisiansky, "Voyage round the World," Loudon, 
1811, p. 214.) 

Used as " a substitute for soap-lees, according to Langsdorff." — 
("Voyages," London, 1814, vol. ii. p. 47.) 

" By night, the Master of the house, with all his family, his wife 
and children, Ij'e in one room. . . . All of them make water in one 
chamber-pot, with which, in the morning, they wash their face, mouth, 
teeth, and hands. They allege many reasons thereof, to wit, that it 
makes a faire face, maintaineth the strength, confirmeth the sinewes in 
the hands, and preserveth the teeth from putrefaction." — ("Dittmar 
Bleekens," in Purchas, vol. i. p. 647.) 

After describing the double tent of skins used by the Tchuktchees, 
Mr. W. H. Gilder, author of " Schwatka's Search," says all food is 
served in the "yoronger," or inner tent, in which men and women sit, 
in a state of nudity, wearing only a small loin-cloth of seal-skin. 

After finishing the meal, " a small, shallow pail or pan of wood is 
passed to any one who feels so inclined, to furnish the warm urine with 
which the board and knife are washed by the housewife. It is a matter 
of indifference who furnishes the fluid, whether the men, women, or 
children ; and I have myself frequently supplied the landlady with the 
dish-water. In nearly every tent there is kept from the summer season 
a small supply of dried grass. A little bunch of this is dipped in the 


warm urine and serves as a dish-rag and a napkin. These people are 
generally kind and hospitable, and were very attentive to my wants as 
a stranger, and regarded by them as more helpless than a native. 
The women would, therefore, often turn to me after washing the board 
and knife, and wash my fingers and wipe the grease from my mouth 
with the moistened grass. Any of the men or women in the tent 
who desired it would also ask for the wet grass, and use it in the same 

" It was not done as a ceremony, but merely as a matter of course 
or of necessity. 

" I do not think they would use urine for such purposes if they 
could get all the water, and especially the warm water, they needed. 
But all the water they have in winter is obtained by melting snow or 
ice over an oil lamp, — a very slow process ; and the supply is there- 
fore very limited, being scarcely more than is required for drinking 
pui'poses, or to boil such fresh meat as they may have. 

" The urine, being warm and containing a small quantity of am- 
monia, is particularly well adapted for removing grease fi'om the boai'd 
and utensils, which would otherwise soon become foul, and to their 
taste much more disagreeable. 

" The bottom of the ' yoronger ' is generally carpeted with tanned 
seal-skins, and tl)ey too are frequently washed with the same fluid. 
The consequence is that there is ever a mingled odor of ammonia and 
rotten walrus-meat pervading a well-supplied and thrifty Tchouktchi 
dwelling." — (Personal letter to Captain Bourke, dated !N^ew York, 
October 15, 1889.) 

" Vice-Admiral of the XaiTow Seas." " A drunken man that pisses 
under the table into his companion's shoes." — (Grose, " Dictionary of 
Buckish Slang," London, 1811, article as above.) 

This use of urine as a tooth-wash has had a very extensive diffusion ; 
it is still to be found in many parts of Europe and America, of boasted 
enlightenment. The Celtiberii of Spain, " although they boasted of 
cleanliness both in their nourishment and in their dress, it was not 
unusual for them to wash their teeth and bodies in urine, — a custom 
which they considered favorable to health." — (Maltebrun, " Univ. 
Geog.," vol. v. book 137, p. 357, article " Spain.") 

From Strabo we learn that the Iberians " do not attend to ease or 
luxury, unless any one considers it can add to the happiness of their 
lives to wash themselves and their wives in stale urine kept in tanks, 
and to rinse their teeth with it, which they say is the custom both 


with the Cantabrians and their neighbors." (Strabo, "Geography," 
Bohn, lib. iii. cap. 4, par. IG, Loudon, 1854. In a footnote it is 
stated that " Apuleius, Catullus, and Diodorus Siculus all speak of 
this singular custom.") The same practice is alluded to by Percy, and 
also by the " Encyclopedie and Dictionnaire liaisonne des Sciences," 
Neufchatel, 1745, vol. xvii. p. 499 ; and the practice is said to obtain 
among the modem Spaniards as well. " Les Espagnols font grand 
usage de I'urine pour se nettoyer les dents. Les anciens Celtiberiens 
faisoieut la meme chose." — (Received from Prof. Frank Rede Fowke, 
London, June 18, 1888.) 

Bien que soigneux de leurs persounes et propre dans leur maniere 
de vivre, les Celtiberes se lavent tout le corps d'urine, s'eu frottant 
nieme les dents, estimant cela un bon moyen pour entretenir la sante 
du corps." — (Diodore, v. 33.) 

" Nunc Celtiber, in Celtiberia terra 
Quod quisque minxit, hoc solet sibi mane 
Dentem atque russam defricare ginginam." 

(Catullus, "Epigrams," 39.) 

The manners of the Celtiberians, as described by Strabo and others, 
have come down through many generations to their descendants in all 
parts of the world ; all that he related of the use of human urine as a 
mouth-wash, as a means of ablution, and as a dentifrice, was trans- 
planted to the shores of America by the Spanish colonists ; and even 
in the present generation, according to Gen. S. V. Benet, U. S. Arm}', 
traces of such customs were to be found among some of the settlers in 

The same custom has been observed among the natives along the 
Upper Nile. " The Obbo natives wash out tlieir mouths with their 
own urine. This habit may have originated in the total absence of 
salt in their country." — (" The Albert Nyanza," Sir Samuel Baker, 
p. 240.) 

In England likewise there was a former employment of the same 
fluid as a dentifrice. 

" ' Nettoyer ses dents avec de I'urine, mode espagnole,' dit Erasme." 
— ("Les Primitifs," Elie Reclus, Paris, 1885, quoting Erasmus, " De 

Urine was employed as a tooth-wash, alone or mixed with orris 
powder. " Farina orobi (bitter vetch) permisceatur cum nrina." — 
(" Medicus Microcosmus," Danieius Beckherius, pp. 62-64.) 


A paraj^raph in Paullini's " Dreck Apothek," p. 74, would show 
that in Germany the same usages were not unknown. As a dentifrice 
he recommends urine as a wash ; or a powder made of pulverized gravel 
stone, mixed with urine. 

Ivan Petroff states that the peasants of Portugal still wash their 
clothes in urine. — (Ivan Petroff, in " Trans. American Anthropologi- 
cal Society," 1882, vol. i.) 

Urine is used on whaling vessels, when stale, for washing flannel 
shirts, which are then thrown overboard and towed after the ship. — 
(Dr. J. H. Porter.) 

Dr. V. T. McGillicuddy, of Rapid City, Dakota, furnishes the infor- 
mation that Irish, German, and Scandinavian washerwomen who have 
immigrated to the United States persist in adding human urine to the 
water to be used for cleansing blankets. 

"I have observed somewhere that the Basks and some Hindus 
clean their mouths with urine, but I do not remember the book." — 
(Dr. Alfred Gatchett, Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, D. C.) 

Dr. Carl Lumholtz, of Christiania, Xorway, states that he had seen 
the savages of Herbert River, Australia, in 18° south latitude, with 
whom he lived for some months, use their own urine to clean their 
hands after they had been gathering wild honey. 

The statement concerning the Celtiberians may also be found in 
Clavigero. — ("Hist, de Baja California," p. 28, quoting Diodorus 

Diderot and DAlembert assert unequivocally that in the latter 
years of the last century the people of the Spanish Peninsula still used 
urine as a dentifrice. — (•' Les Espagnols," etc., reading as above given 
from "Diet. Raisonne." See Encyclop^die, Geneva, 1789, article 
" Urine.") 




"OUT in the examples adduced from Whymper coucerning the people 
of the village of Unlacheet, ou Norton Sound, " the dancers of 
the Malemutes of Norton Sound bathed themselves in urine." (Whym- 
per's "Alaska," London, 1868, pp. 142, 152.) Although, on another 
page, Whymper says that this was for want of soap, doubt may, with 
some reason, be entertained. Bathing is a frequent accompaniment, 
au integral part of the religious ceremonial among all the Indians of 
America, and no doubt among the Inuit or Eskimo as well ; when this 
is performed by dancers, there is further reason to examine carefully 
for a religious complication, and especially if these dances be celebrated 
in sacred places, as Petrofif relates they are. 

" They never bathe or wash their bodies, but on certain occasions 
the men light a fire in the kashima, strip themselves, and dance and 
jump around until in a profuse perspiration. They then apply urine to 
their oily bodies and rub themselves until a lather appears, after which 
they plunge into the river." — (Ivan PetrofF in " Transactions Ameri- 
can Anthropological Society," vol. i. 1882.) 

" In each village of the Kuskutchewak (of Alaska) there is a public 
building named the kashim, in which councils are held and festivals 
kept, and which must be large enough to contain all the grown men 
of the village. It has raised platforms around the walls, and a place 
in the centre for a fire, with an aperture in the roof for the admis- 
sion of light." — (Richardson, " Arctic Searching Expedition," London, 
1851, p. 365.) 

Those kashima are identical with the estufas of Zunis, Moquis, and 
Rio Grande Pueblos. Whymper himself describes them thus : " These 
buildings may be regarded as the natives' town hall ; orations are made, 
festivals and feasts are held in them." 

No room is left for doubt after reading the fuller description of these 
kashima, contained in Bancroft. He says the Eskimo dance in them. 


"often in puris natnralibus" and make "burlesque imitations of birde 
and beasts." Dog or wolf tails hang to the rear of their garments. A 
sacred feast of fish and berries accompanies these dances, wherein the 
actors " elevate the provisions successively to the four cardinal points, 
and once to the skies above, when all partake of the feast." — (Ban- 
croft, " Native Races," vol. i. p. 78.) 

There is a description of one of these dances by an American, Mr. 
W. H. Gilder, an eyewitness. " The kasliine (sic) is a sort of town 
hall for the male members of the tribe. ... It is built almost en- 
tirely under ground, and with a roof deeply covered with earth. It is 
lighted through a skylight in the roof, and entered by a passage-way 
and an opening which can only be passed by crawling on hands and 
knees. ... In the centre of the room is a deep pit, where in winter a 
fire is built to heat the building, after which it is closed, and the 
heat retained for an entire day. In this building the men live almost 
all the time. Here they sleep and eat, and they seldom rest in the 
bosom of their families." He further says that there was "a shelf 
which extends all round the room against the wall. . . . One young 
man prepared himself for the dance by stripping off all his clothing, 
except his trousers, and putting on a pair of reindeer mittens. . . . 
The dance had more of the character of Indian performances than any 
I had ever previously seen among the Esquimaux." — (" Ice-Pack and 
Tundra," pp. 56-58.) 

The following information received from Victor Namoff, a Kadiak of 
mixed blood, relates to a ceremonial dance which he observed among the 
Aiga-lukamut Eskimo of the southern coast of Alaska, The informant, 
as his father had been before him, had for a number of years been em- 
ployed by the Russians to visit the various tribes on the mainland to 
conduct trade for the collection of fui's and peltries. Besides being 
perfectly familiar with the English and Russian languages, he had ac- 
quired considerable familiarity with quite a number of native dialects, 
and was thus enabled to mingle with the various peoples among whom 
much of his time was spent. The ceremony was conducted in a large 
partly underground chamber, of oblong shape, having a continuous 
platform or shelf, constructed so as to be used either as seats or for 
sleeping. The only light obtained was from native oil lamps. The 
participants, numbering about ten dozen, were entirely naked, and 
after being seated a short time several natives, detailed as musicians, 
began to sing. Then one of the natives arose, and performed the dis- 
gusting operation of urinating over the back and shoulders of the per- 


son seated next him, after which he jumped down upon the ground, 
and began to dance, keeping time with the music. The one who had 
been subjected to the operation just mentioned, then subjected his 
nearest neighbor to a similar douche, and he in turn the next in 
order, and so on until the last person on the bench had been similarly 
dealt with, he in turn being obliged to accommodate the initiator of 
the movement, who ceases dancing for that purpose. In the mean- 
time all those who have relieved themselves step down and join in the 
dance, which is furious and violent, inducing great perspiration and an 
intolerable stench. No additional information was given further thnn 
that the structure may have been used in this instance as a sudatorj-, 
the urine and violent movements being deemed sufficient to supply the 
necessary amount of moisture and heat to supply the participants with 
a sweat-bath." — (Personal letter from Dr. W. J. Hoffman, Bureau of 
Ethnology, Washington, D. C, June 16, 1890.) 

Elliott describes the "Orgies" in the "Kashgas" as he styles them. 
"The fire is usually drawn from the hot stones on the hearth. ... A 
kantog of chamber-lye poured over them, which, rising in dense clouds 
of vapor, gives notice by its presence and its horrible ammoniacal odor 
to the delighted inmates that the bath is on. The kashga is heated to 
suffocation ; it is full of smoke ; and the outside men run in from their 
huts with wisps of dry grass for towels and bunches of alder twigs to 
flog their naked bodies. 

"They throw off their garments; they shout and dance and whip 
themselves into profuse perspiration as they caper in the hot vapor. 
More of their disgusting substitute for soap is rubbed on, and produces 
a lather, which they rub off with cold water. . . . This is the most en- 
joyable occasion of an Indian's existence, as he solemnly affirms. 
Nothing else affords a tithe of the infinite pleasure which this orgy 
gives him. To us, however, there is nothing about him so offensive as 
that stench which such a performance arouses." — (Henry W. Elliott, 
" Our Arctic Province," New York, 1887, p. 387.) 

" Quoique generalement malpropres, ces gens ont, comme les autrcs 
Inoits et la plupart des Indiens, la passion des bains de vapeur, pour 
lesquels le kachim a son installation toujours pret. 

** Avec Turine qu'ils recueillent precieusement pour leurs operations 
de tannage, ils se frottent le corps ; I'alcali, se mclangeant avec les 
transpirations et les huiles dont le corps est impregne, nettoie la peau 
comme le ferait du savon ; I'odeur acre de cette liqueur putrifiee parait 
leur §tre agrcable, mais elle saisit a la gorge les etrangers qui reculent 


suffoqu^s, et ont grand'peine k s'y faire. Horreur ! horreur ! oui, pour 
ceux qui ont un pain de savon sur leur table k toilette ; mais pour 
ceux qui ne possedent pas ce detersifJ" — ("Les Primitifs," Reclus, 
p. 71, "Les Inoits Occidentaux.") 

•'Nul s'etonnera que lesOuhabites et les Ougagos de I'Afrique orien- 
tale en fassent toujours autant. Mais on a ses preferences. Ainsi 
Arabes et Bedouines recherchent I'urine des charaelles. Les Banianea 
de Momba se lavent la figure avec de 1' Urine de vache, parceque, 
disent-ils, la vache est leur mere. Cette derniere substance est aussi 
employee par les Silesiennes contra les taches de rousseur. Les Chow- 
seures du Caucase la trouvent excellente pour entretenir la sante et 
developper la luxuriance de la chevelure. A cette fin, lis receuillent 
soigneusement le purin des etables, mais le liqnide encore impregne de 
chalenr vitale passe pour le plus ^nergique. Les trayeuses flattent la 
bete, Ini sifilent un air, chatouillent certaine organe et au moment 
precis, avancent le crane pour recevoir le flot qui s'epanche ; la mere 
industrieuse fait inonder la tete de son nourrison en merae temps que 
la sienne." — (Idem, p. 73.) 

The " Estufa " of the Pueblos was no doubt, in the earlier ages of the 
tribal life, a communal dwelling similar to the "yourts " of the Siberi- 
ans, like which it had but one large opening in the roof, for the en- 
trance of members of the family, or clan, and the egress of smoke. An 
examination of the myths and folk-lore of Siberia might reveal to us 
the birth and the meaning of the visits of our good old Christmas 
friend, Santa Claus, who certainly never sprang from European soil. A 
god, loaded with gifts for good little children, could descend the ladders 
placed in the chimneys of " yourts " and " estufas," but such a feat 
would be an impossibility in the widest chimneys ever constructed in 
Germany or England for private houses. 

The habitations of the natives of Ounalashka, according to Langs- 
dorff, are made with the entrances through the roofs, precisely like 
those of the people of Kamtchatka. — ("Voyages," vol. ii. p. 32.) 

The "Estufa" model was perpetuated in the Temples of India, 
exactly as the Imperial market-places of Rome supplied the type of 
the " Basilica " of the Christian Church. 

An article in "Frazer's Magazine," signed F. P. C, gives the dimen- 
sions of the great Snake Temple of Nakhon-Vat in Cambodia : " Six 
hundred feet square at the base, . . . rises in the centre to the height 
of one hundred and eighty feet, . . . probably the grandest temple in 
the world. ... In the inner court of this temple are ' tanks ' in which 



the living serpents dwelt and were adored. . . . The difference between 
these 'tanks' and the ' Public Estufas ' is simply this : the latter are 
partially or almost completely roofed." 

Some time after reaching the conclusion just expressed and much 
loss of study in a fruitless examination of Eucyclopa;dias, which did 
not contain so much as the name of the patron of childhood, the work 
of Mr. George Kennan was perused in which the same views are antici- 
pated by a number of years ; it is by no means the least important 
fact in an extremely interesting volume. 

" The houses, if houses they could be called, were about twenty feet 
in height, rudely constructed of drift-wood which had been thrown up 
by the sea, and could be compared in shape to nothing but hour- 
glasses. They had no doors or windows of any kind, and could only 
be entered by climbing up a pole on the outside, and slipping down 
another pole through the chimney, — a mode of entrance whose practi- 
cability depended entirely upon the activity and intensity of the fire 
which burned underneath. 

" The smoke and sparks, although sufficiently disagi*eeable, were 
trifles of comparative insignificance. I remember being told, in early 
infancy, that Santa Glaus always came into a house through the chim- 
ney; and, although I accepted the statement with the unreason- 
ing faith of childhood, I could never understand how that singular 
feat of climbing down a chimney could be safely accomplished. . . . My 
first entrance into a Korak 'yourt,* however, at Kamenoi, solved all 
my childish difficulties, and proved the possibility of entering a house 
in the eccentric way which Santa Glaus is supposed to adopt." — 
(George Kennan, "Tent Life in Siberia," 12th edition, New York, 
1887, p. 222.) 

Steller describes a Festival of the Kamtchatkans occurring at the 
end of November, after the winter provisions are in ; in this, one party, 
on the outside of the house, attempts to lower a birch branch down 
through the chimney ; the party on the inside attempts to capture it. 
-- (Steller, "Kamtchatka," translated by Mr. Bunnemeyer.) 

" Every time they make water, or other unclean exercise of nature, 
they wash those parts, little regarding who stands by. Before prayer, 
they wash both face and hands, sometimes the head and privities." — 
(Blount, "Voy. into the Levant," in Pinkerton, vol. x. p. 261.) 

" Among the Negroes of Guinea, when a wife is pregnant for the first 
time, she must perform certain ' ceremonies,' among which is 'going 
to the sea-shore to be washed.' She is followed by a great number of 


boys and girls, who fling all noanner of dung and filth at her in her way 
to the sea, where she is ducked and made clean." — (Bosnian, " Guinea," 
in Pinkerton, vol. xvi. p. 423.) 

"In 1847, I was then twenty-six years old, once an old woman (in 
Cherbourg) came to me with a washing-pan, and asked me to piss into 
it, as the urine of a stout, healthy young man was required to wash 
the bosoms of a young woman who was just delivered of a child." — 
(Personal letter from Captain Henri Jouan, French Kavy, to Captain 
Bourke, dated Cherbourg, France, July 29, 1888.) 

In Scotland, the breasts of a young mother were washed with salt 
and water to ensure a good flow of milk. The practice is alluded to in 
the following couplet from " The Fortunate Shepherdess," by Alexander 
Ross, 1778. 

" Jean's paps wi' sa't and water washen clean, 
Keed that her milk get wrang, fen it was green." 

(Quoted in Brand, "Pop. Ant." vol. ii. p. 80, art. "Christening 

This practice seems closely allied to the one immediately preceding. 
We shall have occasion to show that salt and water, holy water, and 
other liquids superseded human urine in several localities, Scotland 
among others. 

" Being to wean one of their children, the father and mother lay him 
on the ground, and whilst they do that which modesty will not permit 
me to name, the father lifts him by the arm, and so holds him for 
some time, hanging in the air, falsely believing that by these means he 
will become more strong and robust." — (Father Merolla, "Voyage to 
the Congo," in Pinkerton, vol. xvi. p. 237, A. D. 1682.) 

In the Bareshnun ceremony, the Parsee priest "has to undergo 
certain ablutions wherein he has to apply to his body cow's urine, and 
sand and clay, which seem to have been the common and cheapest dis- 
infectant known to the ancient Iranians." — (Dr. J. W. Kingsley, Per- 
sonal letter to Captain Bourke, apparently citing " The History of the 
Parsees," by Dosabhai Framje Karaka.) 

The Manicheans bathed in urine. — (Picart, "Coutumes," etc.; 
" Dissertation sur les Perses," p. 18.) 

" Le lecteur le plus degout^ s'en occupe presque h, son insu ; quand 
il demande a son ami, Comment allez-vous ? s'il vous plait si ce n'est 
la — oh. se fait ce que nous disonsl Dans un pays voisin on se salue 
en disant. La matiere est-elle louable ? Et en Angleterre, c'est la 


nierae pensee qu'on exprime lorsqu'on dit, en abordant quelqu'un, 
How do you dol Comment faites-vousl — (Bib. Scat. p. 21.) 

" There is a place where whenever the King spits the greatest ladies 
of his court put out their hands to receive it ; and another nation 
where the most eminent persons about him stop to take up his ordure 
in a linen cloth." — (Montaigne, Essays, " On Customs.") 

" A few days after birth, or according to the fancy of the parents, an 
'angekok,' who by relationship or long acquaintance with the family, 
has attained terms of great friendship, makes use of some vessel and 
with the urine of the mother washes the infant, while all the gossips 
around pour forth their good wishes for the little one to prove an active 
man, if a boy, or, if a girl, the mother of plenty of children. The 
ceremony, I believe, is never omitted, and is called Gogsinariva." — 
("The Central Eskimo," Boas, p. 610, quoting G. F. Lyon, "Private 
Journal of H. M. S. Hecla, during the recent Voyage of Discovery 
luider Captain Parry," London, 1824.) 

The same custom is practised by the Eskimo of Cumberland Sound 

"Buffalo dung I have seen carefully arranged in (Crow) Indian 
dance tepees, having apparently some connection with the ceremonies." 

— (Personal letter from Dr. A. B. Holder, Memphis, Tenn., to Cap- 
tain Bourke, Feb. 6, 1890.) 

*' In one of the sacred dances of the Cheyennes, there is to be seen an 
altar surrounded by a semi-circle of buffalo chips. This dance or cere- 
mony is celebrated for the purpose of getting an abundance of ponies." 

— (See the description in Dodge's "Wild Indians," pp. 127, 128.) 
The sacred pipes used in the Sun Dance of the Sioux are so placed 

that the bowl rests upon a "buffalo chip." — ("The Sun Dance of 
the Ogallalla Sioux." Alice Fletcher, in " Proceed. American Associ- 
ation for the Advancement of Science," 1882.) 

The drinking of the water in which anew-born babe had been bathed 
is intimated in the myths of the Samoans. When the first baby was 
bom " Salevao provided water for washing the child, and made it Saor, 
sacred to Moa. The rocks and the earth said they wished to get some 
of that water to drink. Salevao replied that if they got a bamboo he 
would send them a streamlet through it, and hence the origin of 
springs." — (" Samoa," Turner, London, 1884, p. 10.) 

Although it is not so stated in the text, yet from analogy with other 
cosmogonies we may entertain a suspicion as to how the god provided 
the water, — no doubt from bis own person. 



" Stercoraire, Chaire (Hist, des Papes) ; c'est ainsi qu'on nommait a 
Eome, au rapport de M. L'Enfaut, une chaire qui etoit autrefois devant 
le portique de la basilique, sur laquelle ou faisait asseoir le Pape le 
jour de sa consecration. Le choeur de musique lui chantoit alors ccs 
paroles du Psaume 113, selon I'Hebreu, et le 112, selou le Vulgate, v. G, 
et suiv. ' II tire de la poussiere celui qui est dans I'indigence et il 
eleve le pauvre de sou avilissement pour le placer avec les princes de 
son peuple ; ' c'etoit pour insinuer au Pape, dit cardinal Kaspon, la 
vertu de I'humilitt^, qui doit etre le compagne de sa grandeur. Get usage 
fut aboli par L^on X, qui u'^toit pas n^ pour ces sortes de minuties." — 
(" Encyc. ou Diet. Raison. des Sciences," etc., Neufchatel, 1765, tome 
quinzieme, article as above.) 

Consult Ducange also, " Stercoraria Sedes," wherein it is stated that 
the use of this chair could be traced back to the tenth century. 

*' Stercoraria sedes, in qua creati pontifices ad frangendos elatos 
spiritus cousiderent, unde dicta." — (Baronius, "Annales," Lucca, 

Pead also the remarks upon the subject of Ducking Stools, from 
which this seems to have been derived, under " Ordeals and Punish- 

Father Le Jeune relates, among the ceremonies observed by the 
Indians of Canada upon capturing a bear, that no women were allowed 
to remain in the lodge with the carcass, and that special care was taken 
to prevent dogs from licking the blood, gnawing the bones, or eating 
the excrement. — (See " Eolations," 1634, vol. i., Quebec, 1858.) 




A MONG all the observances of the every-day life of the American 

■*■ aborigines, none is so distinctly complicated with the religious 
idea as smoking; therefore, should the use of excrement, human or 
animal, be detected in this connection, full play should be given to the 
suspicion that a hidden meaning attaches to the ceremony. This 
would appear to be the view entertained by the indefatigable missiou- 
ary, De Smet, who records such a custom among the Flatheads and 
Crows in 1846 : " To render the odor of the pacific incense agreeable to 
their gods it is necessary that the tobacco and the herb (skwiltz), the 
usual ingredients, should be mixed with a small quantity of buffalo 
dung." * 

The Sioux, Cheyennes, Arapahoes, and others of the plains tribes, to 
whom the buffalo is a god, have the same or an almost similar custom. 

The Hottentots, when in want of tobacco, " smoke the dung of the 
two-horned rhinoceros or of elephants." — (Thurnberg's Account of 
the Cape of Good Hope, quoted in Pinkerton, vol, xvi. p. 141.) 

The followers of the Grand Lama, as already noted, make use of his 
dried excrements as snuff, and an analogous employment of the dried 
dung of swine retained a place in the medical practice of Europe until 
the beginning of the present century, and may, perhaps, still survive 
in the Folk-medicine of isolated villages. 

The people of Achaia say "that the smoke of dried cow dung, that 
of the animal when grazing I mean, is remarkably good for phthisis, 
inhaled through a reed." — (Pliny, Nat. Hist. lib. xxviii. cap. 67.) 

Dung is also used in Central Africa. " A huge bowl is filled with 
tobacco and clay and sometimes with a questionable mixture, the 
fumes are inhaled until the smoker falls stupefied or deadly sick — 
this effect alone being sought for." — (" Central Africa," Chaillc Long, 
p. 266.) 

1 Father De Smet, "Oregon Missions," New York, 1847, p. 383. 


" In Algeria, gazelle droppings are put in snufF and smoking tobacco ; 
the Mongol Tartars mix the ashes of yak manure with their snufF." — 
(Personal letter from W. W. Kockhill.) 

Mr. Rudyard Kipling shows in his "Plain Tales from the Hills" 
("Miss Youghal's Sais ") that the native population of India is accus- 
tomed to use a mixture of one part of tobacco to three of cow-dung. 




" 'T^O multiply and replenish the earth," was the first command 
given to man ; to love, and to desire to be loved in return, is 
the strongest impulse of our nature, and therefore it need surprise no 
student who sets about investigating the occult properties attributed 
to the human and animal egestse to find them in very general use in 
the composition of love-philters, as antidotes to such philters, as 
aphrodisiacs, as antiphrodisiacs, and as aids to delivery. 


Love-sick maidens in France stand accused of making as a philter a 
cake into whose composition entered "nameless ingredients," which 
confection, being eaten by the refractory lover, soon caused a revival 
of his waning affections.* This was considered to savor so strongly of 
witchcraft that it was interdicted by councils. 

The witches and wizards of the Apache tribe make a confection or 
philter, one of the ingredients of which is generally human ordure, as 
the author learned from some of them a few years since. The Nava- 
joes, of same blood and language as the Apaches, employ the dung of 
cows (as related in the "Snake Dance of the Moquis," p. 27.) 

Frommann gives an instance of a woman who made love-philters 
out of her own excrement. As late as Frommann's day, the use of 
such philters was punishable with death. The remedies for love- 
philters were composed of human skull, coral, verbena flowers, 
secundines, or after-birth, and a copious flow of urine. He says that 
Paracelsus taught that when one person ate or drank anything given 

1 " Le mal^fice amoureux ou le philtre " is defined as follows : " Telle est la pra- 
tique de certaiiies femmes et de certaines filles, qui, pour obliger leurs galans . . . 
de les aimer comme auparavaut . . . les font manger du gateau ou elles ont mis 
des ordures que ,je ne veux pas nommer." — (Jean Baptiste Thiers, "Traite des 
Supei-stitions," Paris, 1741, p. 150.) 


ofif by the skin of another, he would fall desperately in love with that 
other. " Quod illi, qui ederunt aut biberunt aliquid a scorte datum, 
in amorem alicujus conjiciantur et rapiantur." (Frommann, " Trac- 
tatus de Fascination e," pp. 820, 826, 970, quoting Paracelsus, Tract. 1, 
de Morbis Amantium, cap. v.) He also cites Beckherius to the effect 
that some philters were made of perspiration, menses, or semen. — 
(Idem, quoting Beckherius, " Sapgyr. Microc," p. 89.) 

John Leo, in Purchas (vol. ii. p. 850), speaks of " the roote Sumay 
growing also upon the Western part of Mount Atlas. . . . The inhab- 
itants of Mount Atlas doe commonly report that many of those da- 
mosels which keepe Cattell upon the said Mountaines, lose their Vir- 
ginitie by no other occasion than by making water upon said Roote. 
. . . This roote is said to be comfortable and preserliatiue unto the 
priuie partes of man, and being drunk in an Electuary to stirre up 
Venereal lust." 

Reginald Scot mentions a " Wolves yard " among the ingredients in 
a love-philter. — ("Discoverie of Witchecraft," London, 1651, p. 62.) 

Human ordure was in constant use in the manufacture of these 
philters, being administered both internally and externally. On this 
point it may be proper to give the exact words of Schurig, who ex- 
plains that it was sometimes put in porridge, and in other cases in the 
shoes. In the last example, the man who made such use of the 
excrement of his lady love was completely cured of his infatuation, 
after wearing the defiled shoes one hour. " Contra Philtrae tam in- 
terne quam externe adhiberi solet amatse puellse stercus, ab exsiccato 
enim atque in pulmento personae philtratae exhibito amorem in max- 
imam antipathiam rautatam annotavit Eberhardus Gockelius. . . . 
etiam Capitanei cujusdam meminit qui, postquam amasiae stercus 
novis calceis imposuerat, posteaque iisdem per integram horam spatia- 
tus fuerat ab illius amore liberabatur." — (" Chylologia," p. 774.) 

Leopax'd-dung was in repute as an aphrodisiac. — (Idem, p. 820.) 

" The urine that has been voided by a bull immediately after cover- 
ing . . . taken in drink," as an aphrodisiac; and "the groin well 
rubbed with earth moistened with this urine." — (Pliny, Bohn, lib. 
xxviii. cap. 80.) 

"The wizard, witch, sorcerer, druggist, doctor, or medicine man 
. . . played the part of an ochreous Cupid. Instead of smiles and 
bright eyes, his dealings were with some nasty stuff put into beer, or 
spread slyly upon bread. ... In the Shroft book of Egbert, Arcli- 
bishop of York, one of their methods is censured j and it is so filthy 


that I must leave it in the obscurity of the original old Euglish." — 
(" Saxou Leechdoms," vol. i. p. 45.) 

An ointment of the gall of goats, incense, goat-dung, and nettle- 
seeds was applied to the privy parts previous to copulation to increase 
the amorousness of women. — (See "Saxon Leechdoms," vol. i. p. 351, 
quoting Sextus Placitus.) 

" Love-charms are made of ingredients too disgusting to mention, 
and are given by the Mussulmans to women to persuade them to love 
them." — (" ludo-Mahomedan Folk-Lore," No. 3, H. C, p. 180, in 
"Notes and Queries," 3d series, vol. xi., London, 1867.) 

Vambery has this obscure passage : " The good woman had the 
happy idea to prescribe to the sick Khan five hundred doses of that 
medicine said to have worked such beneficial effects upon the renowned 
poet-monarch of ancient history. . . . The Khan of Khiva took from 
fifty to sixty of these pills * for impuissauce.' " — (" Travels in Central 
Asia," New York, 1865, p. 166.) 

Besides these elements there were employed others equally dis- 
gusting ; for example, the catamenial fluid, which seems to have 
been in high repute for such purposes : " Quaedani auditas sunt jac- 
tautes se sua excrementa propinasse, prsecipue menstrua, quibus cogaut 
se amari." — (" Saxon Leeclidoms," vol. i. p. 45, quoting Ca^salpinus, 
"Dsemonum Investigatio," fol. 154 b. Csesalpinus died in 1603.) 

" He has taken the enchanted philter, and soiled my garment with 
it." — ("Chaldean Magic," Lenormant, London, 1877, p. 61, quoting 
an Incantation of the Chaldean sorcerers. It is, of course, a matter of 
impossibility to tell of what this philter was composed.) 

" They say that if a man takes a frog, and transfixes it with a reed 
entering its body at the sexual parts, and coming out at the mouth, 
and then dips the reed in the menstrual discharge of his wife, she will 
be sure to conceive an aversion for all paramours." — (Pliny, lib. xxxii. 
cap. 13.) 

" Sanguis menstruus, qui, a Paracelso vocatur Zenith Juvencularum ; 
hie primus virginis impollutae multa in se habet arcana non semper 
revelanda. Ut autem pauca adducam, extreme linteum a primo san- 
guine menstruo madidum et exsiccatum, banc denuo humectatum et 
applicatum pedi podagraci, mirum quantum lenit dolores podagrae. 
Idem linteum, si applicetur parti Erysipelate affectse, incontinenti ery- 
sipelas curat. In affectibus ab incantationibus et veneficiis oriuudis 
multa prsestat sanguis menstruus ; nam et ipse sanguis menstruus ad 
veneficia adhibetur, et sunt mulieres, quae pro philtris utuutur san- 


guine 8U0 meustruo." He instances such a philter, made with men- 
strual and a hare's blood, which drove the recipient to mania and 
suicide. It was further used to make people " impenetrable " to an 
enemy's weapon, and to cure burning sores. (See Michael Etmuller, 
" Opera Omnia," vol. ii. p. 270, art. " Schrod. Dilucid. Zoijlogia.") 

A medical student was frequently courted by his neighbor's daugh- 
ter, but he disregarded her advances. At one time, however, he slept 
with the brother of the girl in her father's house, and after that was 
so infatuated that he would rise at midnight to kiss the jambs of the 
door of her house. Some time afterwards, he sent his clothes to a 
tailor to be mended, and, sewed up iu his trousers, was found a little 
bundle of hair from an unmentionable part of the girl's body, con- 
taining the initials S. T. I. A. M., which were by some interpreted 
to mean "Sathanas te trahat in amorem mei." As soon as this little 
bunch of hair was burned, the poor fellow had rest. — (Paulliui, pp. 
258, 259.) 

Human semen was equally used for the very same purpose. There 
is nothing to show whether male lovers used this ingredient, and 
maidens the menstrual liquid, or both indiscriminately ; but it seems 
plausible to believe that each sex adhered to its own excretion. 

"Semen, f. Sperma, uon modo comperimus per se a nonnullis ad 
veneris scilicet ligaturam maleficam dissolvendam, sed et Momiam 
magneticam inde fieri quae amoris concilietur fervor. Quin et homun- 
culum suum inde meditatur Paracelsus." — (Etmuller, " Opera Omnia," 
voh ii. p. 266.) 

Semen, Beckherius informs us, was used in breaking down " Liga- 
tures" placed by witches or the devil, and in restoring impaired 
virility. But it was sometimes employed in a manner savoring so 
strongly of impiety that Beckherius preferred not to speak further. — 
(" Medicus Microcosmus," p. 122.) 

Flemming tells us that we should not pass over in silence the fact 
that human seed has been employed by some persons as medicine. 
They believed that its magnetic power could be used in philters, and 
that by it a lover could feed the flame of his mistress's affections ; 
hence from it was pi'epared what was known as " magnetic mummy," 
which, being given to a woman, threw her into an inextinguishable 
frensy of love for the man or animal yielding it, — a suggestion of 
animal worship. Others credited it with a wonderful efficacy in re- 
lieving inveterate epilepsy, or restoring virility impaired by incanta- 
tion or witchcraft ; for which purpose it was used while still fresh, 


before exposure to the air, in pottage, mixed with the powder of mace. 
Flemming alludes to a horrible use of relics, good and bad, ujjon which 
human semen had been ejaculated ; but this involved so much of the 
grossest impiety that he declined to enter into full details. — ("Do 
Eemediis ex Corpore Humano desumtis," Samuel Augustus Flemming, 
Erfurt, 1738, p. 22.) 

The love-philter described in the preceding paragraph recalls a some- 
what analogous practice among the Manicheans, whose eucharistic 
bread was incorporated or sprinkled with human semen, possibly with 
the idea that the bread of life should be sprinkled with the life-giving 

The Albigenses, or Catharistes, their descendants, are alleged to 
Lave degenerated into or to have preserved the same vile superstition.^ 

Understanding that these allegations proceed from hostile sources, 
their insertion in this category has been permitted only upon the theory 
that as the Manichean ethics and ritual present resemblances to both 
the Parsee and Buddhist religions (from which they may to some ex- 
tent have originated), there is reason for supposing that ritualistic 
ablutions, aspersions, and other practices analogous to those of the 
great sect farther to the east, may have been transmitted to the younger 
religion in Europe. 

The following is taken from an episcopal letter of Burchard, Bishop 
of Worms : — 

" N'avez vous pas fait ce que certaines femmes ont coutume de faire 1 
Elles se depouillent de leurs habits, oignent leur corps nu avec du 
miel, ^tendent k terre un drap, sur lequel elles repandent du bled, se 
roulent dessus h, plusieurs reprises ; puis elles recueillent avec soin tons 

1 Qua oocasione vel potius execrabilis superstitionis quadam necessitate coguntur 
electi eomm velut eucharistiam conspersam cum semine humano sumere. — (Saint 
Augustine, quoted by Bayle, " Philosophical Dictionary," English edition, London, 
1737, article "Manicheans.") 

'■^ Les Catharistes qui etoient une espece choisis de Manicheens, petrissoient le 
pain Eucharistique avec la semence humaine. — (Thiers, " Sui)erstitious," etc., 
Paris, 1741, vol. ii. lib. 2, chap. i. p. 216 ; and Picart, "Coutumes et Ceremonies, 
etc., Amsterdam, 1729, vol. viii. p. 79.) 

E. B. Tylor says that " about A. D. 700 John of Osun, patriarch of Armenia, 
wrote a diatribe against the sect of Paulicians " (who were believed to be the de- 
scendants of the Manicheans, and in turn to have transmitted their doctrines to the 
Albigenses). In the course of tlie diatribe the patriarch declares that "they mix 
wheaten flour with the blood of infants, and therewith celebrate their communion." 
— (E. B. Tylor, "Primitive Culture," London, 1871, vol. i. p. 69.) 


Ics grains qui se sont attaches a leur corps, les mettent sur la meule 
qu'elles font tourner a rebours. Quand ils sont r^duits en farine, ellcs 
en font nn pain qu'elles donnent k manger k leurs maris afin qu'ils 
s'affaiblissent et qu'ils meurent. Si vous I'avez fait, vous ferez peni- 
tence pendant quarante jours aii pain et k I'eau. , . . Fecisti quod 
qutEdam mulieres facere solent? Tollunt menstruum suum sanguincm 
et immiscent cibo vel potui, et dant viris suis ad manducandum vel 
ad bibendura, ut plus diligantur ab eis. . . . Fecisti quod quaedam 
mulieres facere solent '? Prosternunt se in faciem, et discoopertis natibus, 
jubent ut supra nudas nates, conficiatur panis, et eo decocto tradunt 
maritis suis ad coraedendum. Hoc ideo faciunt ut plus exardescant in 
amorem illarum. Si fecisti duos annos per legitimas ferias poenitias. 

— (Dulaure, " Traite des DifFerens Cultes," vol. it. p. 262 et seq.) 

The method of divination by which maidens strove to rekindle the 
expiring flames of affection in the hearts of husbands and lovers by 
making cake from dough kneaded on the woman's posterior, as given 
in preceding paragraph, seems to have held on in England as a game 
among little girls, in which one lies down on the floor, on her back, 
rolling backwards and forwards, and repeating the following lines: — 

" Cockledy bread, mistley cake, 
"When you do that for our sake." 

While one of the party so lay down the rest of the party sat round ; 
they lay down and rolled in this manner by turns. 

Cockle Bread. This singular game is thus described by Aubray and 
Kennett : *' Young wenches have a wanton sport which they call 
'moulding of cockle bread,' viz.: they get upon a table-board, and 
then gather up their knees as high as they can, and then they wobble 
to and fro, as if they were kneading of dough, and say these words : 

' My dame is sick, and gone to bed, 
And I '11 go mould my cockle bread, 
Up with my heels, and down with my head ! — 
And this is the way to mould cockle bread.' 

— (Quoted in Brand, "Popular Antiquities," vol. ii. p. 414, article 
"Cockle Bread.") 

These words " mistley " and " cockledy " were not to be found in 
any of the lexicons examined, or in the " Dictionary of Obsolete and 
Provincial English " of Thomas Wright, M. A., London, 1869, although 
in the last was the word " mizzly " meaning " mouldy." It may pos- 
sibly mean mistletoe. 


" Cockle is the unhappy * lolium * of Virgil, thought, if mixed with 
bread, to produce vertigo and headache ; therefore, at Easter, parties 
are made to pick it out from the wheat. They take with them cake, 
cider, and toasted cheese. The first person who picks the cockle 
from the wheat has the first kiss of the maid and the first slice 
of the cake." — (Fosbroke, " Eucyclopsedia of Antiquities," vol. ii. 
p. 1040.) 

Vallencey describes a very curious ceremony among the Irish in the 
month of September. " Ou the eve of the full moon of September 
. . . straw is burnt to embers, and in the embers each swain in turn 
hides a grain, crying out, ' I '11 tear you to pieces if you find my grain.' 
His maiden lover seeks, and great is her chagrin if she does not find it. 
On producing it, she is saluted by the company with shouts ; her lover 
lays her first on her back, and draws her by the heels through the 
embers, then turning her on her face repeats the ceremony until her 
nudities ai-e much scorched. This is called posadamin, or the meal- 
wedding. . . . When all the maidens have gone through this cere- 
mony, they sit down and devour the roasted wheat, with which they 
are sometimes inebriated." — (" De Rebus Hibernicis," vol. ii. p. 559.) 

He undoubtedly means ergot ; be himself says that it is " a grain 
that is sometimes found growing amongst the wheat in Ireland." He 
also calls these " weddings " a " Druidical custom." — (Idem, p. 598.) 

A similar phallic dance is alluded to in John Graham Dalyell's 
♦'Superstitions of Scotland," Edinburgh, 1834, p. 219. 

In Sardinia " the village swains go about in a group ... to wait for 
the girls who assemble on the public square to celebrate the festival. 
Here a great bonfire is kindled, round which they dance and make 
merry. Those who wish to be ' sweethearts of Saint John ' act as fol- 
lows : The young man stands on one side of the bonfire, and the girl 
on the other ; and they, in a manner, join bands by each grasping a 
long stick, which they pass three times backwards and forwards across 
the fire, thus thrusting their hands thrice rapidly into the flames." 
At this dance, we read of " a Priapus-like figure, made of paste ; but 
this custom, rigorously forbidden by the Church, has fallen into dis- 
use." (" The Golden Bough," Frazer, vol. i. p. 291.) " In some parts 
of Germany young men and girls leap over midsummer bonfires for 
the express purpose of making the hemp or flax grow tall." — (Idem, 
p. 293.) 

" Amongst the Kara-Kirghis barren women roll themselves on the 
ground under a solitary apple-tree in order to obtain offspring." (Idem, 


vol. i. p. 73.) That this is a manifestation of tree worship, the author 
leaves us no room to doubt ; and a consultation of his text will be re- 
warded by several examples of a still more definite character, — such 
as marriage with trees, wearing the bark as a garment in the hope of 
progeny, etc. 

Hoffman mentions a widow among the Pennsylvania Germans who 
" became impressed with a boatman with whom she casually became 
acquainted, and as he evinced no response to her numerous manifesta- 
tions of regard, she adopted the following method to compel him to 
love her, even against his will. With the blade of a penknife she scraped 
her knee until she had secured a small quantity of the cuticle, baked it 
in a specially prepared cake, and sent it to him, though with what re- 
sult is not known. The woman was known to have the utmost faith 
in the charm." — (" Folk-Medicine of Pennsylvania Germans," Ameri- 
can Philosophical Society, 1889.) 

"I was at Madrid in 1784. ... A beggar, who generally took his 
stand at the door of a church, had employed his leisure in inventing 
and selling a species of powder to which he attributed miraculous 
effects. It was composed of ingredients the mention of which would 
make the reader blush. The beggar had drawn up some singular for- 
mularies to be repeated at the time of taking the powder, and required, 
to give it its effect, that those who took it should put themselves into 
certain postures more readily imagined than described. His composi- 
tion was one of those amorous philtres in which our ignorant ances- 
tors had so much faith ; his, he pretended, had the power of restoring 
a disgusted lover and of softening the heart of a cruel fair one." — 
(Bourgoanne's "Travels in Spain," in Pinkerton, vol. v. p. 413.) 

" When a young man is trying to win the love of a reluctant girl he 
consults the medicine-man, who then tries to find some of the urine 
and saliva which the girl has voided, as well as the sand upon 
which it has fallen. He mixes these with a few twigs of certain woods, 
and places them in a gourd, and gives them to the young man, who 
takes them home, and adds a portion of tobacco. In about an hour 
he takes out the tobacco and gives it to the girl to smoke ; this effects 
a complete transformation in her feelings." — (" Conversation with 
Muhongo," an African boy from Angola, translated by Eev. Mr. 

Lovers who wished to increase the affections of their mistresses were 
recommended to try a transfusion of their own blood into the loved 
one's veins. — (Flemming, "De Remediis," etc., p. 15.) 


See notes tf,ken from Flemming, under " Perspiration ; " also under 
" After-Birth and Woman's Milk," and under " Catamenial Fluid." 

Beaumont and Fletcher may have had such customs in mind when 
writing " Wit without Money." 

" Ralph. Pray, empty my right shoe, that you made your chamber- 
pot, and burn some rosemary in it." — (v. i.) 

Rosemary, like juniper (q. v.), was extensively used for disinfecting 
sleeping apartments. 


To protect the population from the baleful effects of the love-philter, 
there was, fortunately, the anti-philter, in which, strangely enough, we 
come upon the same ingredients. Thus mouse-dung, applied in "the 
form of a liniment, acts as an antiphrodisiac," according to Pliny 
(lib. xxviii. cap. 80). " A lizard drowned in urine has the effect of an 
antiphrodisiac upon the man whose urine it is." (Idem, lib. xxx. cap. 
49.) *' The same property is to be attributed to the excrement of snails 
and pigeon's dung, taken with oil and wine." — (Idem.) 

A powerful antiphrodisiac was made of the urine of a bull and the 
ashes of a plant called "brya." "The charcoal too of this wood is 
quenched in urine of a similar nature, and kept in a shady spot. When 
it is the intention of the party to rekindle the flames of desire, it is 
set on fire again. The magicians say that the urine of a eunuch will 
have a similar effect." — (Idem, lib. xxiv. cap. 42.) 

" According to Osthanes ... a woman will forget her former love 
by taking a he-goat's urine in drink." — (Idem, lib. xxviii. cap. 77.) 

Hen-dung was an antidote against philters, especially those made 
of menstrual blood. "Contra Philtra magica, in specie ex sanguine 
menstruo femineo." (" Chylologia," p. 81 G, 817.) Dove-dung was also 
administered for the same purpose, but was not quite so efficacious. 

A journeyman cabinet-maker had been given a love-potion by a 
young woman, so that he could n't keep away from her. His mother 
then bought a pair of new shoes for him, put into them certain herbs, 
and in them he had to run to a certain town. A can of urine was 
then put into his right shoe, out of which he drank, whereupon he per- 
fectly despised the object of his former affection. 

A prostitute gave a love-potion to a captain in the army. Some of 
her ordure was placed in a new shoe, and after he had walked therein 
an hour, and had his fill of the smell, the spell was broken. Paullini 
here quotes Ovid, — 


" Jlle tuas redolens Pbineu medicamina mensas 
Non semel est stomacho nausea facta meo." 

A man was given in his food some of the dried ordure of a woman 
whom he formerly loved, and that created a terrible antipathy toward 
her. — (Paullini, p. 258.) 

" The seeds of the tamarisk mixed in a drink or meat with the urine 
of a castrated ox will put an end to Venus." — (" Saxon Leechdoras," 
vol. i. p. 43, quoting Pliny, lib. 21, c. 92.) 

" Galenos says that the priests eat rue and agnus castus, it seems, 
as a refrigerative." — (Idem, p. 43.) 

The herb rue was used by the Romans as an amulet against witch- 
craft, and was also employed in the exorcisms of the Roman Catholic 
Church. — (Brand, "Popular Antiquities," vol. iii. p. 315, article 
" Rural Charms.") 

An examination of the best available authorities upon the properties 
of this plant disclosed the following: "It was formerly called 'herb of 
grace ' (see Hamlet, act iv. scene 5), because it was used for sprinkling 
the people with holy water. It was in great repute among the 
ancients, having been hung about the neck as an amulet against witch- 
craft, in the time of Aristotle. ... It is a powerful stimulant." 
(Chambers's Encyclopaedia, article " Rue.") "Rue is stimulant and 
anti-spasmodic ; . . . occasionally increases the secretions. ... It ap- 
pears to have a tendency to act upon the uterus ; ... in moderate 
doses proving emmenagogue, and in larger producing a degree of irrita- 
tion in the organ which sometimes determines abortion ; . . . taken 
by pregnant women, . . . miscarriage resulted ; . . . used in amenor- 
rhcea and in uterine hemorrhages." (" United States Dispensatory," 
Philadelphia, 1886, article " Ruta.") Here are presented almost the 
same conditions as were found in the mistletoe, — the plant had a 
direct, irritant action upon the genito-urinary organs, and in all prob- 
ability was employed to induce the sacred urination and to asperse 
the congregation with the fluid for which holy water was afterwards 

Rue and agnus castus are mentioned by Avicenna as medicines 
which "coitus desiderium sedant." (Vol. i. pp. 266, b 45, 406, a60.) 
The same author (vol. i. p. 906, a 63) mentions rue with the testicles 
of a fox as an Aphrodisiac, and the testicles of the goat are mentioned 
in the same connection. — (Idem, p. 907, b 67.) 

Dulaure (*' Des Diff'erens Cultes," vol. ii. p. 288) speaks of certain 
"fasciniers" or charlatans, who vended secretly love-philters to bar- 



ren women. " lis prononcaient pour operer leurs charmes des mots 
latiDS et avaieut I'intention de fixer dans les alimeus des epoux une 
poudre proveuaut des parties sexuelles d'un loup." 

Beckherius repeats the antidote for a love-philter of placing some of 
the woman's ordure in the man's shoe ; "Si, in amantis calceum, ster- 
cus amataj ponatur ; " and he also cites the couplet from Ovid already 
quoted, p. 225. 

" Secundines " were also employed to render abortive the effects of 
philters. (See EtmuUer, " Opera Omnia," Schroderi dilucidati Zoii- 
logia, vol. ii. p. 265.) "In philtris curandis spiritus secundinse vel 
pulvis secundinsp mirabilis facit." This was of great use in epilepsy, 
but should be, if possible, " secundinam mulieris sanae, si potest esse 
primiparse et quae filium enixa fuit." — (Idem, vol. ii. p. 271.) 

Against philters, as well as to counteract the efforts of witches at- 
tacking people just entering the married state, by such maleticent 
means as " ligatures," and other obstacles, ordure was facile princeps 
us a remedy. Likewise, to break up a love affair, nothing was superior 
to the simple charm of placing some of the ordure of the person seek- 
ing to break away from love's thraldom in the shoe of the one still 
faithful. It is within the bounds of possibility that this remedy would 
be found potential even in our own times, if faithfully applied. " Con- 
tra philtra, item pro ligatis et maleficiatis a mulieribus sequens Jo- 
hannes Jacobus Weckerus . . . pone de egestione sen alvi excremento 
ipsius mulieris mane in fotulari dextro maleficiati et statim cum ipse 
sentiet foetorum solvitur maleficium. . . . Quod si in amantis calceum 
stercus amata) posueris, ubi odorem senserit, solvitur amor," etc. (sev- 
eral examples are given). — (" Chylologia," p. 791.) 

Mr. Chrisfield, of the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C, im- 
parts a fact which dovetails in with the foregoing item in a very inter- 
esting manner. He says that, in his youth, which was passed on the 
Eastern Shore of Maryland, he learned that, among the more ignorant 
classes of that section it was a rule that when a father observed the 
growing affection of his son for some young girl, he should endeavor 
to obtain a little of her excrement, and make the youth wear it under 
the left arm-pit ; if he remained constant in his devotion after being 
subjected to this test, the father felt that it would be useless to inter- 
pose objection to the nuptials. 

There is a case mentioned in Scotland in which " aversion was in- 
spired on the part of the female." To remedy this "the man got a 
cake " (ingredients not mentioned) " to be put under his left arm, be- 


twixt his shirt and his skin, observing silence, until the nuptial couch 
was sprinkled with water and the mystical cake withdrawn." — (Super- 
stitions of Scotland," Dalyell, p. 305.) 

One might safely wager guineas to shillings that, in the above exam- 
ple the mystical cake was the legitimate descendant of one formerly 
compounded of very unsavoiy ingredients, and that the water with 
which the nuptial couch was to be sprinkled, had replaced a fluid 
closely related to the liquid employed by the Hottentots on such 

"To procure the dissolving of bewitched and constrained love, the 
party bewitched must make a jakes (i. e. privy) of the lover's shoe. 
And to enforce a man, how proper soever he be, to love an old hag, she 
gives unto him to eate (among other meates) her own dung." — 
(Scot's " Discoverie," p. 62.) 

This subject of " JSTouer I'aiguillette " is referred to by Dulaure. — 
(" Traite des Dif. Cultes," vol. ii. p. 288.) 

" If a man makes water upon a dog's urine, he will become disin- 
clined to copulation, they say." — (Pliny, lib. xxx. c. 49.) 

" Beware thee that thou mie not where the hound mied ; some men 
say that there a man's body changeth so that he may not, when he 
Cometh to bed with his wife, bed along with her." — (De Med. de Quad, 
of Sextus Placitus, from " Saxon Leechdoms," vol. i. p. 365.) 




A CURIOUS manifestation of hospitality has heen noticed among 
-^^ the Tchuktchi of Siberia : Les Tschuktschi offrent leurs femmes 
aux voyageurs ; mais ceux-ci, pour s'en rendre digues, doivent se sou- 
mettre a une epreuve degotltante. La fille ou la femme qui doit passer 
la nuit avec son nouvel bote lui pr^sente une tasse pleine de son urine ; 
il faut qu'il s'en rince la bouche. S'il a ce courage, il est regarde 
comme un ami sincere ; siuon, il est traite comme un ennemi de la 
famille. — (Dulaure, "Des Divinites Generatrices," Paris, 1825, p. 

Among the Tchuktchees of Siberia, " it is a well known custom to 
use the urine of both parties as a libation in the ceremony ; and like- 
wise between confederates and allies, to pledge each other and swear 
eternal friendship." — (" In the Lena Delta," Melville, p. 318.) 

The presentation of women to distinguished strangers is a mark of 
savage hospitality noted all over the world, but never in any other 
place with the above peculiar accompaniment; yet Mungo Park as- 
sures his readers that, during his travels in the interior of Africa, a 
wedding occurred among the Moors while he was asleep. He was 
awakened from his doze by an old woman bearing a wooden bowl, 
whose contents she discharged full in his face, saying it was a present 
from the bride. 

Finding this to be the same sort of holy water with which a Hotten- 
tot priest is said to sprinkle a newly married couple, he supposed it to 
be a mischievous frolic, but was informed that it was a nuptial bene- 
diction from the bride's own person, and which, on such occasions, is 
always received by the young immarried Moors as a mark of distin- 
guished favor. — (Quoted in Brand, *' Popular Antiquities," London, 
1849, vol. ii. p. 152, article "Bride-Ales." See also Mungo Park's 
"Travels in Africa," New York, 1813, p. 109.) 

In Hottentot marriages " the priest, who lives at the bride's kraal, 
enters the circle of the men, and coming up to the bridegroom, pisses 


a little upon him. The bridegroom receiving the stream with eager- 
ness rubs it all over his body, and makes furrows with his long nails 
that the urine may penetrate the farther. The priest then goes to the 
outer circle and evacuates a little upon the bride, who rubs it in with the 
same eagerness as the bridegroom. To him the priest then returns, and 
having streamed a little more, goes again to the bride and again scatters 
his water upon her. Thus he proceeds from one to the other until he 
has exhausted his whole stock, uttering from time to time to each of 
them the following wishes, till he has pronounced the whole upon both : 
* May you live long and happily together. May you have a son before 
the end of the year. May this son live to be a comfort to you in your 
old age. May this son prove to be a man of courage and a good hunts- 
man,' " — (Peter Kolbein, Voy. to the Cape of Cood Hope, in Knox, 
"Voyages," London, 1777, vol. ii. pp. 399, 400. This statement of 
Kolbein is cited by Maltebrun, Univ. Geog. vol. ii. article " Cape of 
Good Hope," but he also mentions Thurnberg, Sparmann and Foster 
as authorities. Pinkerton, vol. xvi. pp. 89 and 141, likewise quotes 
from Thiirnberg on this subject.) 

" Have I not drunk to yoizr health, swallowed flap-dragons, eat 
glasses, drank wine, stabbed arms, and done all the offices of pro- 
tested gallantry for your sakel" — (Marston's "Dutch Courte- 
san," London, 1605; see also footnote on the same point in the 
"Honest Whore," Thomas Dekkar, 1604, edition of London, 1825. 
** Dutch flap-dragons," " Healths in urine." See also " A New Way 
to Catch the Old One," Thomas Middleton, 1608, ed. of Eev. Alex. 
Dyce, London, 1840; footnote to above: "Drinking healths in urine 
was another and more disgusting feat of gallantry." Again, for flap- 
dragons, see in " Ram Alley," by Ludovick Barry, 1611, ed. of Loudon, 

In the "Histoire Secrete du Prince Croq' Etron," M'lle Laubert, 
Paris, 1790, Prince Constipati is entertained by the Princess Clyster- 
ine ; elle lui donna de la limonade, de la fa9on d'Urinette" (p. 17). 

Brand has a very interesting chapter, entitled "Drinking Wine in 
the Church at Marriages," in which it appears that the custom pre- 
vailed very generally among nations of the highest civilization, of 
having the bride, groom, and invited guests, share in a cup or chalice, 
filled with some intoxicant; in England, a country which has never 
raised the grape, this drink is wine ; in Ireland, it was whiskey. Brand 
traces it back to a Gothic origin, but he himself calls attention to the 



breaking of wine-glasses at the marriage ceremony among Hebrews, 
from which circumstance a still greater antiquity may be inferred. 

" Cobbler's punch," urine with a cinder in it. — (Grose, " Diction- 
ary of Buckish Slang," London, 1811.) 

" A beautiful lady, bathing in a cold bath, one of her admirers, out 
of gallantry, drank some of the water." — (Idem, article "Toast.") 

" We were told that the priest (of the Hottentots) certainly gives 
the nuptial benediction by sprinkling the bride and groom with his 
urine." — (Lieut. Cook, R. N., in " Hawkesworth's Voyages," London, 
1773, vol. iii. p. 387.) 

Similar statements are to be found in the writings of Hahn and 
others of the Dutch missionaries to the natives of South Africa. 

The malevolence of witchcraft seems to have taken the greatest 
pleasure in subtle assaults upon those just entering the married state. 
Fortunately, amulets, talismans, and counter-charms were within 
reach of all who needed them. The best of all these was thought to 
be urination through the wedding-ring. — (See Brand, "Pop. Ant.," 
vol. iii. p. 305.) 

The variants of this practice are innumerable, and are referred to 
by nearly all the old writers. 

Beckherius tells his readers that to counteract the effects of witch- 
craft, and especially of " Nouer I'Aiguillette " ..." Si per nuptialem 
annulnm sponsius mingat, fascina et Veneris impoteutia solvetur, qua 
a maleficiis ligatus fuit." — ("Med. Microcos." p. G6.) 

" Pisse through a wedding-ring if you would know who is hurt in 
his privities by witchci-aft." — (Reg. Scot, " Discoverie," p. 64.) 

" Si quis aliquo veneficio impotens ad usum veneris factus fuerit at 
quam primum mingat per annulum conjugalem." — (Frommann, 
"Tract, de Fascinat." p. 997.) 

Etmuller did not believe that witches could " nouer I'aiguillette ; " 
he attributed that effect to excessive modesty ; yet all the remedies 
mentioned by him, by which the testes of the bridegroom were to be 
anointed, contained " Zibethum " as an ingredient. — (See his " Opera 
Omnia," vol. i. p. 461 b, and 462 a.) 

For loss of virility, Paullini recommends drinking the lu'ine of a 
bull, immediately after he has covered a cow, and smear the pubis 
with the bull's excrements ; also piss through the engagement ring 
(pp. 152, 153). 

But when witches have been the occasion of such impotence, the 
victim should urinate through the wedding ring immediately after 


discovering his misfortune ; he also advises urination upon a broom; 
human ordure was also efficacious. Or, take castor-oil plant, put it 
into a pot, add some of the patient's urine, hermetically seal, boil 
slowly, and then bury in an unfrequented spot. By this method, the 
witches w'll either be made to piss blood, or have other tormenting 
pains until they relieve the bewitched one. — (Idem, pp. 264, 2G5.) 

Etmuller describes another " sympathetic " cure for this infirmity : 
This prescribed that the bridegroom should catch a fish (the Latin 
word is "lucium," meaning probably our pike), forcibly open its 
mouth, urinate therein, and throw the fish back in the water, up- 
stream ; then try to copulate, taking care to urinate through the wed- 
ding-ring, both before and after. " Si quis emat lucium piscem sexus 
masculini, huic per vim aperiatur os, et in os ejus immittatur urinam, 
maleficiati. Hie lucius ita vivus immittatur in fluvium, idque contra 
ejusdem cursum . . . subito namque tollitur maleficium si non sit 
nimis inveteratum, etc. . . . probatum etiam fuit si sponsus ante cop- 
ulationem et etiam post eam mittat suam urinam per anuulum spon- 
salitium quem accepit a sponsa." He gives another cure, of much the 
same kind, which, however, required that the micturation through the 
ring should be done in a cemetery while the patient was lying on his 
back on a tombstone. "A vetula suppeditato dum soil, in cementerio 
qnodam missit urinam per annul nm cujiisdam lapidis sepulchro incum- 
bentis." — (Etmuller, vol. i. p. 462 a, 462 b.) 

This remedy is believed in and practised by the peasantry in some 
parts of Germany to the present day. "A married man who has 
become impotent through evil influences can obtain relief by forming 
a ring with his thumb and forefinger, and urinating through it se- 
cretly." — (" Sagen-marchen, Volkaberglauben, aus Schwaben," Drs. 
Birlinger and Buck, Freiburg, 1861, p. 486.) 

Grimm, in his "• Teutonic Mythology" (vol. iii.) refers to " Nouer 
I'aiguillette,"" but adds nothing to what has been presented above. 

There are certain quaint usages connected with weddings among the 
peasantry of Russia, as well as among the rustic population of Eng- 
land, which might excite the curiosity of antiquarians. In the first 
case, there is a "sprinkling" with water once used by the bride for 
the purpose of bathing her person ; in the other, there is a " sale" of 
a liquid by the bride, this liquid being an intoxicant. 

Wedding ceremonies of the peasantry of Saraogitia : " The bride 
was led on the wedding-day three times round the fireplace of her 
future husband ; it was then customary to wash her feet, and with the 


same water that had .been used for that purpose the bridal bed, the 
furniture, and all the guests were sprinkled." — (Maltebrun, "Univ. 
Geog.," vol. ii. p. 548, art. "Russia.") 

By a reference back to page 60 of this volume, it will be seen that 
the Queen of Madagascar favored her subjects in the same way. This 
sprinkling with the water used as above may be a survival of a former 
practice, in which the aspersion was with the urine of the bride. 

" Bride- Ale, Bride-Bush, and Bride-Stake are nearly synonymous 
terms, and are all derived from the circumstance of the bride's selling 
ale on the wedding-day, for which she received, by way of contribu- 
tion, whatever handsome price the friends assembled on the occasion 
chose to pay her for it." (Brand, " Pop. Ant.," vol. ii. p. 143, art. 
" Bride-Ales.") In this article he introduces the story from Mungo 
Park already given in these pages, and seems to have a suspicion that 
the custom above described could be traced back to a rather unsavory 

The derivation of the English word "bridal" is very obscure; Fos- 
broke says that the word "bride-ale" comes from the bride's selling 
ale on her wedding-day, and the friends contributing what they liked 
in payment of it." — ("Cyclop, of Antiq.," vol. ii. p. 818, under 
" Marriage " and " Bride-Ales.") 

The Latin name for beer or ale was " cerevisia," which would seem 
to be a derivative from the name of the goddess. It may, in earlier 
ages, have been a beverage dedicated to that goddess, employed in her 
libations, and held sacred as the means of producing the condition 
of inebriation, which in all nations has been looked upon as sacred. 
Eeclus tells that there are still nations who regard their brewers as 
priests, and there are others who exalt their milkmen to that office : 
" Lcs Chewsoures du Caucase ont leurs pretres brasseurs ; les Todas 
des Neilgherries leurs divins fromagiers." — ("Les Primitifs," p. IIG, 
article " Les Inoits Occidentaux.") 

Hazlitt mentions the case where the Fairies, having a mock bap- 
tism and no water at hand, made use of strong beer." — ("Fairy 
Tales," London, 1875, p. 385.) 

Beer would appear entitled to claim as old an origin as alcohol ; it 
is mentioned in the sacred books of the Buddhists of Tibet : " La 
Biere d'hiver (dguntchang)." — (" Pratimoksha Sutra," translated bj 
W. W. Eockhill, Paris, 1885, Societe Asiatique.) 




T?OR the cui'e of sterility, Pliny says that "authors of the very 
-*~ highest repute . . . .recommend the application of a pessary 
made of the fresh excrement voided by an infant at the moment of its 
birth." The urine of eunuchs was considered to be " highly beneficial 
as a promoter of fruitfulness in females." — (Lib. xxviii. cap. 18.) 

*' A hawk's dung, taken in honeyed wine, would appear to render 
females fruitful." — (Idem, lib. xxx. c. 44.) 

" Ut mulier concipiat, infantis masculi stercus quod primum enatus 
eraittet, suppositum locis mulieris conceptionem facit et praestat." — 
(Sextus Placitus, " De Medicamentis ex Animalibus," Lyons, 1537, 
pages not numbered, article " De Puello et Puella Virgine.") 

Schurig recommends an application of bull-dung to the genitalia of 
women to facilitate pregnancy. (" Chylologia," vol. ii. p. 602.) The 
woman drank her own urine to ease the pains of pregnancy. (Idem, 
p. 535.) There is a method of inducing conception outlined in vol. ii. 
p. 712, by the use of a bath of urine poured over rusty old iron. 
Mouse-dung was applied as a pessary in pregnancy. (Idem, pp. 728, 
729.) Hawk-dung drunk by a woman before coitus insured concep- 
tion. (Idem, p. 748.) Goose or fox dung rubbed upon the pudenda 
of a woman aided in bringing about conception. (Idem, p. 748.) 
Leopard-dung was also supposed to fiicilitate conception ; pastilles were 
made of it, and the sexual parts fumigated therewith ; or a pessary 
was inserted and kept in place for three days and three nights : 
"Ea quamvis antea sterilis fuit, deinceps tamen concipiet." — (Idem, 
p. 820.) 

But Schurig warns his readers that care must be exercised in the 
use of such remedies. He gives an instance of a woman who applied 
the dung of a wolf to her private parts, and soon after bearing a 
child, found him possessed of a wolfish appetite. — (Idem, lib. i. cap. 1, 
article "De Bulimo Brutorum," p. 24.) 


" When ladies desire to know whether or not they are enceinte, 
PauUiiii recommends that they urinate in an earthen vessel wherein a 
needle has been thrown. Let it stand over night ; should the needle 
become covered with small red spots, the woman is enceinte; but 
should it be black or rusty, she is not. To determine whether she is 
to have a son or daughter, dig two small pits ; put barley in one, and 
wheat in the other ; let the enceinte lady urinate into both ; then 
cover up the vessels with earth ; if the wheat sprout first, it is to be a 
son ; if the barley sprout before the wheat, it is to be a daughter." — 
(Paullini, p. 163.) 

Or, throw a pea into each parcel of urine ; then the pea which ger- 
minates first, etc., etc. " Aut injiciatur lens in unius cujusque urina 
et cujus efflorescit, ille culpa caret," is the method suggested by Dan- 
ielus Beckherius. — (" Med. Microcos. aut Spagyria Microcosmi," pp. 
GO, 61, quoting from still older authorities.) 

He gives still another plan : " If you wish to determine whether a 
woman is to bear children, pour some of her urine upon marsh-mal- 
lows ; if they be found dry on the third day, she '11 not conceive. " Si 
explorare volueris, utrum mulier ad concipiendam sit idonea, tunc 
super malvam sylvestram urinam ejus funde ; si ille tertio die arida 
fuerit, omnino minus idoneam illara habeto." — (Idem, p. 61.) 

Paullini urges that the excrements of goats, hawks, horses, geese, 
and the urine of camels be taken to remedy sterility (p. 161). 

And the very same remedies are given by Beckherius and still older 

English women, in some localities, drank the urine of their husbands 
to assist them in the hour of labor. 

"In the collection entitled ' Sylon, or the Wood' (p. 130) we read 
that * a few years ago, in this same village, the women in labor used to 
drinke the urine of their huslmnds, who were all the while stationed, 
as I have seen the cows in St. James's Park, straining themselves to 
give as much as they can.' " — (Brand, " Popular Antiquities," London, 
1849, vol. iii. article, "Lady in the Straw.") 

" Mariti urina hausta partum difficilem facilitare dicitur." — (Et- 
muller, vol. ii. p. 265, Schroderi, " Dilucidati Zoologia.") 

An instance of the drinking of her own urine by a pregnant woman 
is to be read in Schurig (p. 45), art. " De Pica." 

The warm urine of the husband was drunk for the same purpose : 
" Scil. Hartmannus commendat ut difficiliter paricns libat haustum 
urinse mariti sui et ita si hie fuerit genuinus foetus parientam illam ex 


parti solvi piitat; ast si urinae aliquid subest erit illud sali volatili 
ad morcm alionxrn omnium volatilium, attribuendum." (Etmuller, 
vol. ii. pp. 171, 172.) Here we have the husband's urine employed 
not only as a medicine, but as a test of the wife's fidelity. 

John Moncrief directs that, to facilitate conception, a pessary should 
be inserted in the vagina, of which hare's dung was to be a component. 
Horse's dung, drunk in water, aided a woman in childbirth. — (" The 
Poor Man's Physician," Edinburgh, 1716, p. 149.) 

" Ut mulier post partum in secundis non laboret, de lotio homiiiis 
subtiliter gustet et secundse statim sequentur." — (Sextus Placitus.) 

Dioscorides prescribed both human ordure and the dung of the vul- 
ture to bring about the expulsion of the foetus. — (Materia Medica, 
edition of Kuhn, vol. i. p. 232 et seq.) 

Goose-dung, in internal doses, was prescribed by Pliny for the same 
purpose. — (Lib. 30, c. 4.) 

But the dung of the elephant or menstrual blood prevented concep- 
tion, according to Avicenna : " Impregnationem prohibent . . . stercus 
elephantis," vol. i. p. 390, bll ; "Impregnationem prohibent . . . san- 
guis menstruus, si supponatus." — (Vol. i. pp. 330, a 35, 388, b 50.) 

For accidents to pregnant women, apply rabbit's dung externally ; 
for miscarriages, man's urine, internally; the excreta of lionesses, 
hawks, and chickens, internally ; of horses and geese, externally and also 
internally ; and of pigeons and cows, externally. For after-birth pains, 
the patient's own urine, externally ; or the excrement of chickens, in- 
ternally. — (Paullini.) 

Schurig recommended the use of lion-dung, internally, in cases of 
difficult parturition. — (" Chylologia," p. 819.) 

Etmuller says of secundines : " In partu difficili nil est prsestantius " 
(p. 270). 

Both Pliny and Hippocrates recommend hawk-dung in the treatment 
of sterility, and to aid in the expulsion of the foetus in childbirth ; it 
was to be drunk in wine ; their prescription is copied by Etmuller : 
" Hippocrates et Plinius ad sterilitatem emendandam propiuant." — 
(vol. ii. p. 285.) 

For the expulsion of the dead foetus, Pliny recommended a fumiga- 
tion of horse-dung. — (Lib. xxviii. c. 77.) 

And Sextus Placitus says : " Similiter, mortuum etiam partum ejicit. 
Idem facit ut mulier facile pariat si totum corpus sufiFumigaveris claudit 
et ventrem." — (Cap. " De Equo.") 

Etmuller advises the use of these fumigations to aid in the expul- 


sion of the foetus and after-birth ; a potion of the dung should also be 
administered in all such cases, being, in his opinion fully equal to the 
dung of dogs or swallows. — (Vol. ii. p. 263.) 

A parturient woman in New Hampshire, drank the urine of her hus- 
band as a diuretic, forty or fifty years ago. — (Mi*s. Fanny D. Bergen, 
Cambridge, Massachusetts.) 

Flemming is another who recommends a draught of the husband's 
urine to aid in delivery : " Poito, in partu difficili, uriuara mariti cali- 
dam calido haustam esse " (p. 23). 

" A urine tub was held above the head of a woman in labor to ward 
off all manner of evil influences. — (Henry Rink, " Tales and Tradi- 
tions of the Eskimo," Edinburgh, 1875, p. 55.) 

''Gomez" (which is the "nirang" or urine of the ox) was prescribed 
to be drunk as a purifying libation by a woman who had miscarried. 
(See Fargard V. Avendidad, Zendavesta (Damesteter's translation), Max 
MiiUer's edition. "Sacred Books of the East," Oxford, 1880, p. 62.) 
"She shall drink gomez mixed with ashes, three cups of it, or six or 
nine, to wash over the grave within her womb. . . . When three 
nights have passed, she shall wash her body, she shall wash her 
clothes, with gomez and with water by the nine holes, and thus shall 
she be clean." — (Idem, pp. 63, 90.) 

" Avec une tendre solicitude, les bonnes amies versent sur la tete de 
la femme en travail le contenu d'un pot de chambre pour fortifier, disent- 
elles." — (" Les Primitifs," Elie Reclus, p. 43; "Les Inoits Orien- 

" The Commentaires of Bernard the Provincial, informs us " says 
Daremberg, " that certain practices, not only superstitious bnt dis- 
gusting, were common among the doctrines of Salerno ; one, for 
instance, was to eat themselves, and also to oblige their husbands to 
eat, the excrements of an ass fried in a stove in order to prevent ster- 
ility." — ("The Physicians of the Middle Ages," Minor, Cincinnati, 
Ohio, p. 6, translated from Dupuoy's " Le Moyen Age Medicale.") 

Mr. Havelock Ellis calls attention to the use of cow's urine after 
confinement by the women of the Cheosurs of the Caucasus. See also 
under "Witchcraft," "Therapeutics," "Divination," "Amulets and 
Talismans," " Cures by Transplantation," " Ceremonial Observances." 


For an example of Urinal Aspersion, in connection with "Weaning, 
see on page 211, 




npHE attainment by young men of the age ^of manhood is an event 
-*- which among all primitive peoples has been signalized by peculiar 
ceremonies ; in a number of instances ordure and urine have been em- 
ployed, as for example : The observances connected with this event in 
the lives of Australian warriors are kept a profound secret, but, among 
the few learned is the fact that the neophyte is " plastered with goat 
dung." — (See " Aborigines of Australia," A. Brough Smyth, London, 
1878, vol. i. p. 59, footnote.) 

In some parts of Australia, Smyth says that the youfrh of fourteen 
or fifteen had to submit himself to the rite of "Tid-but," during which 
his head was shaved and plastered with mud (" the head is then 
daubed with clay ") '•' and his body is daubed with clay, mud, and 
charcoal-powder and filth of every kind." (Smyth had previously 
specified goat-dung.) " He carries a basket under his arm, containing 
moist clay, charcoal, and filth. ... He gathers filth as he goes, and 
places il in the basket." — (Idem, vol. i. p. 60.) 

The young initiate throws this filth at all the men he meets, but 
not at the women or children, as these have been warned to keep out 
of his way. This is the account given by Smyth, but Featherman, from 
whom Smyth derived his information, makes no such restriction iu his 
text, simply stating that the young man was considered to be " excom- 
municated de facto." (See A. Featherman, " Social History of the 
Races of Mankind," 2d Division, London, 1887, p. 152.) But, in either 
case, it is surely remarkable to stumble upon the counterpart of one 
of the proceedings of the Feast of Fools in such a remote corner of the 

"Among many of the tribes, the ceremony of introducing a native 
into manhood, is said to be accompanied with some horrible and dis- 
gusting practices." — ("The Nat. Tribes of S. Australia," Adelaide, 


1879, Introduction, xxviii, received through the kindness of the 
lioyal Soc. of Sydney, N. S. Wales, T. B. Kyngdon, Secretary.) 

"In order to infuse courage into boys, a warrior, Kerketegerkai, 
would take the eye and tongue of a dead man (probably of a slain 
enemy), and after mincing them and mixing with his urine, would ad- 
minister the compound in the following manner. He would tell the 
boy to shut his eyes and not look, adding : * I give you proper kaikai ' 
('kaikai' is an introduced word, being the jargon English for food). 
The warrior then stood up behind the sitting youth, and putting the 
latter's hand between his (the man's) legs, would feed him. After this 
dose, 'heart along, boy no fright.'" — (A. C. Haddon, "The Ethnography 
of the Western Tribes of Torres Straits," in Journal of the Anthrop. 
Institute, Great Britain and Ireland, xix. no. 3, 1890, p. 420. Re- 
ceived through the kindness of Professor H. C. Henshaw, U. S. Geol. 
Survey, Washington, D. C.) 

" Some other customs are altogether so obscene and disgusting I 
must, even at the risk of leaving my subject incomplete, pass them over 
by only thus briefly referring to them." — ("Nat. Tr. of S. Australia," 
p. 280.) 

Monier Williams repeats almost what MUller says about the Parsis. 
A young Parsi undergoes a sort of confirmation, during which " he is 
made to drink a small quantity of the urine of a bull." — (" Modem 
India," London, 1878, p. 178.) 


A religious rite of still more fearful import occurs among the same 
people at the initiation of their young men into the rank of warriors — 
a ceremony which must be deferred until the postulant has attained 
his eighth or ninth year. It consists, principally, in depriving him of 
the left testicle, after which the medicine man voids his urine upon 

" At eight or nine years of age, the young Hottentot is, with great 
ceremony deprived of his left testicle." (Kolbein, p. 402.) He says 
nothing about an aspersion with urine in this instance, but on the 
succeeding page he narrates that there is first a sermon from one of 
the old men, who afterwards " evacuates a smoking stream of urine all 
over him, having before reserved his water for that purpose. The 
youth receives the stream with eagerness and joy ; and making furrows 

1 See iu Picart, Coutumes et Ceremonies Religieuses, vol. vii. p. 47. 


with the long nails in the fat upon his body, rubs in the briny fluid 
with the quickest action. The old man, having given him the last 
drop, utters aloud the following benediction : ' Good fortune attend 
thee ; live to old age. Increase and multiply. May thy beard grow 
soon.'" — (Idem, p. 403.) 

" The young Hottentot, who has won the reputation of a hero by 
killing a lion, tiger, leopard, elephant, etc., is entitled to wear a bladder 
in his hair ; he is formally congratulated by all his kraal. One of the 
medicine-men marches up to the hero and pours a plentiful stream over 
him from head to foot, — pronouncing over him certain terms which I 
could never get explained. The hero, as in other cases, rubs in the 
smoking stream upon his face and every other part with the greatest 
eagerness." — (Idem, p. 404.) 

Eev. Theophilus Hahn cites Kolbeiu in •'Beitrage fiir Kunde der 
Hottentoten," in Jahrbuch fiir Erdkunde, von Dresden, 1870, p. 9, 
as communicated by Dr. Gatchett of the Bureau of Ethnology, Wash- 
ington, D. C. For further references to the Hottentot ceremony of 
luitiation, by sprinkling the young warrior with urine, consult Pinker- 
ton's "Voyages," vol. xvi. pp. 89 and 141, where there is a quotation 
from Thurnberg's " Account of the Cape of Good Hope." See also 
Maltebrun, " Univ. Geog." vol. ii. article "The Cape of Good Hope." 

The Indians of California gave urine to newly-born children. " At 
time of childbirth, many singular observances obtained ; for instance, 
the old women washed the child as soon as it was born, and drank of 
the water ; the unhappy infant was forced to take a draught of urine 
medicinally." — (Bancroft, H. H. "Native Races," vol. i. p. 413.) 

Forlong states that at the time of investiture of the Indian boy with 
the sacred thread, "the fire is kindled with the droppings of the 
sacred cow." — (" Rivers of Life," London, 1883, vol. i. p. 323.) 

Valuable information was also received from Mr. Edward Palmer, of 
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, especially in regard to the Kalkadoon 
tribe near Cloncurry, who are among those who split the urethra. 

In order to bring up an Eskimo child to be an " Angerd-lartug-sick," 
— that is, " a man brought up in a peculiar manner, with a view to 
acquiring a certain faculty by means of which he might be called to life 
again and returned to land, in case he should be drowned," — " for 
this purpose the mother had to keep a strict fast and the child to be 
accustomed to the smell of urine." — (Rink, " Tales and Traditions of 
the Eskimo," p. 45.) 

Reclus says of the Inuit child selected to be trained as an Angekok : 


" Sitot u6e, la petite creature sera asperg^e d'urine de maniere I. I'im- 
pregner de son odeux- caracteristique ; c'est d^cid^ment leur eau benite. 
Ailleurs, la barbe, la chevelure, I'entiere personue des rois et sacrifica- 
teurs sont oiiites d'huile prise dans de saintes ampoules; ailleurs, 
elles sont beurrees et barbouillees de bouse soigneusement eteudues." 
— (" Les Primitifs," p. 84, " Les Inoits Occidentaux.") 

For initiation in witchcraft, " Dans la Hesse, le postulant se place 
Bur du fumier en prouon9ant des formules magiques, et pique un era- 
paud avec un baton blanc qu'il jette ensuite a I'eau." — (" La Fascina- 
tion," J. Tuchmann, in " Melusine," Paris, July-August, 1890, p. 93.) 

" I am strongly inclined to the belief that all these rites are survivals 
or debased vestiges of the blood-covenant practice, by which the par- 
taking of each other's selves (by whatever is a portion of one's self) is 
a form of covenanting by which two persons become as one. Are yon 
aware of the fact that the habit of giving the urine of a healthy child 
to a new-bom babe has prevailed down to the present day among rus- 
tic nurses in New England, if not elsewhere, in America? I can bear 
personal testimony to this fact from absolute knowledge. It is a note- 
worthy fact that the Hebrew word chaneeJc, which is translated ' trained ' 
or * initiated,' and which is used in the proverb, * Train up a child,' etc., 
has as its root-idea (as shown in the corresponding Arabic word) the 
' opening of the gullet ' in a new-born child, the starting the child in 
its new life. Among some primitive peoples fresh blood, as added life, 
is thus given to a babe; and in other cases it is urine." — (Personal 
letter from Eev. H. K. Trumbull, editor of the " Sunday-School Times," 
Philadelphia, April 19, 1888.) 

"The priesthood of the false gods is hereditary in the family. . . . 
Others may be introduced into the corps of fetich priests, but they 
have to pay dearly for the honor. . . . Every morning before sunrise 
and every evening at sunset the aspirants were heard singing in choir, 
directed by an old fetich priestess." These ceremonies of consecra- 
tion "last several days. . . . The crinkled hair which is completely 
shaved off of some, and only from the crown of the head of others, 
the aspersion of lustral water, the imposition of the new name." — 
(" Fetichism," Pev. P. Baudin, New York, 1885, pp. 74, 75.) 

" One observer of the customs of the blacks has stated in the journal 
of the Anthropological Society of London that in the Hunter River 
District of New South Wales, the catechumens at some parts of the 
Bora ceremonies are required to eat ordure ; but I have made diligent 
inquiries in the same locality and elsewhere, but have found nothing 


to corroborate his statement. Similarly, in one district in Queensland, 
it is said that the blacks, whether at the Bora or not 1 cannot say, 
make cup-like holes in the clay soil, collect their urine in them, and 
drink it afterwards. This latter statement may be true, but I have 
never been able to substantiate it by information from those who 
know. Various considerations, however, lead me to think it possible 
that our blacks, in some places at least (for their observances are not 
everywhere the same), may use ordure and urine in that way, thinking 
that the evil spirit will be propitiated by their eating in his honor that 
which he himself delights to eat ; just as in Northwestern India a de- 
votee may be seen going about w^ith his body plastered all over with 
human dung in honor of his god. And our blacks have good reason to 
try to propitiate this unclean spirit (Gunung-dhukhya) in every pos- 
sible way, for they believe that he can enter their bodies, and effecting 
a lodgment in their abdomen, feed there on the foulest of the contents, 
and thus cause cramps, fits, madness, and other serious disorders. 
The uou- Aryan population of India have similar beliefs ; for among the 
devil-worshippers of Western India there are certain malignant spirits 
called Bhutas ; and these in their habits are similar to Gunungdhuduk- 
hya. They too cause mischief by taking possession of the body, and 
they delight to devour human beings ; they too live in desert places, 
especially among tall trees. They take the forms of men and animals, 
and prowl about in burial-grounds, and eat the carcasses." — (Personal 
letter from John Frazer, LL.D., dated Sydney, Xew South Wales, De- 
cember 24, 1889.) 

This correspondent has struck the keynote of the curious behavior 
of the prophet Ezekiel and others. Believing, as was believed in their 
day, that deities ate excrement, why should not they, the representa- 
tives of the gods, eat it too 1 And if a god enter into a man's body to 
eat excrement, why should not the victim feed him on that which is so 
acceptable, and by gorging him free himself from pain 1 

See, under "War Customs," the use of the drink ivysoccan by the 
Indians of Virginia, in their ceremonies of initiation. 

See, under " Ordeals and Punishments," page 254, iu regard to the 
belief of the Australians. 


It is remarkable that we should be able to adduce any example of 
the employment of excrementitious matter in war customs ; not that 



we should not suspect their existence, but because on occasions of such 
importance the medicine-meu, who arrogate to themselves so much 
consequence in all military affairs, would naturally be more careful 
to conceal their performances from profane eyes. There is very little 
reason to doubt that a fuller examination would be rewarded with new 
facts of additional interest and value. 

When the Dutch were besieging Batavia, in the Island of Java, in 
1623, the natives daubed themselves with human ordure, in all likeli- 
hood for some vague religious purpose, — "a 1629, in obsidione 
Batavos obsessos, in defectu aliorum ad dcfensionem necessariorum 
requisitorum hostes suos Indos stercore humano ex cloacis collecto, 
ollisque in ipsorum nuda corpora conjecto, fugasse." — (" Chylologia," 
p. 795.) 

" Les Malais se servent de I'urine pour tremper leurs fameux criss. 
lis enfoncent ces poignards dans la terre, et pendant un certain temps, 
ils viennent uriuer de maniere que cette terre soit toujours imbibee 
d'urine." — (Personal letter from Dr. Bernard, Cannes, France, dated 
July 7, 1888.) 

Against what was known in the Middle Ages as " magical impene- 
trability," human ordure was in high repute. The sword or " machete " 
of the person exposed to attack from such an enemy should be rubbed 
in pig-dung. But let Schurig tell his own story : " Scilicet, priusquam 
cum adversario hujus rei suspecto congrediaris, cuspis machserae vel 
gladii, stercori suillo infigatur ; vel si eminus agendum, globuli bom- 
berdis infarciendi per sphincterem ani ducantur ; quod certissimum 
dicitur antidotum contra banc non minus quam Diaboli Incantationes." 
— (" Chylologia,"p. 791, par. 64.) 

Frommann states that arms may be bewitched so that they can do 
harm ; but he makes no mention of human or animal excreta in such 
connection. — ("Tract, de Fascinat.," p. 654.) 

" Dum gladio quo vulnus fuit inflictum sive cruento sive non cruento 
applicatur unguentum quod vocant magneticum armarium quo curatur 
vulnus." (Etmuller, vol. i. p. 68.) This magnetic ointment was 
made of human ordure and human urine. 

See also page 298 of this volume. 

" The Scythians prefer mares for the purposes of war, because they 
can pass their urine without stopping in their career." — (Pliny, lib. 
viii. cap. 66.) 

The " black drink " of the Creeks and Seminoles was an emetic and 
cathartic of somewhat violent nature. It was used by the warriors of 


those tribes when about to start out on the war-path or engage in any 
important deliberations. — (See Cornwallis Clay's dissertation upon 
the Seminoles of Florida, in " Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology," 
Washington, D. C, 1888.) 

The " black drink " of the Creeks was made from the Iris Versi- 
color (Natural order, Iridacsea), '* an active emeto-cathartic, abundant 
in swampy grounds throughout the Southern States." — (See Brinton, 
"Myths of the New World," New York, 1868, p. 274.) 

Beverly mentions "a mad potion," "the Wysoccan," used by the 
Indians of Virginia during "an initiatory ceremony called Huskansaw, 
which took place every sixteen or twenty years," which he calls " the 
water of Lethe," and by the use of which they " perfectly lose the 
remembrance of all former things, even of their parents, their treasure, 
and their language." — ("Golden Bough," vol. ii. p. 349, quoting Bev- 
erly's "History of Virginia," London, 1722, p. 177.) 

See, under " Insults," p. 256, for the war customs of the Samoans. 
See also " Catamenia ; " " Witchcraft." 




^T^HE African hunter in pursuit of game, such as elephants, anoints 
-*- himself "all over with their dung." — (Father Merolla, in Pink- 
erton, vol. xvi. p. 251, "Voyage to Congo.") This, he says, is merely 
to deceive the animal with the smell. 

Pliny relates that in Heraklea the countrj'-people poisoned panthers 
with aconite. But the panthers had sense enough to know that hu- 
man excrement was an antidote. (Lib. xxviii. c. 2.) Again in lib. 
viii. c. 41 he tells of the aconite-poisoned panther curing itself by 
eating human excrement. Knowing this fact, the peasants suspend 
human excrement in a pot so high in the air that the panther exhausts 
itself in jumping to reach it, and dies all the sooner. 

Schurig (" Chylologia," p, 774) has the above tale, but has taken it 
from Claudius ^Emilianus, as well as Pliny. 

The reindeer Tchuktchi feign to be passing urine in order to catch 
their animals which they want to use with their sleds. The reindeer, 
horses, and cattle of the Siberian tribes are very fond of urine, prob- 
ably on account of the salt it contains, and when the}' see a man 
walking out from the hut, as if for the purpose of relieving his bladder, 
they follow him up, and so closely that he finds the operation anything 
but pleasant. 

" The Esquimaux of King William's Land and the adjacent peninsula 
often catch the wild reindeer by digging a pit in the deep snow, and 
covering it with thin blocks of snow, that would break with the weight 
of an animal. They then make a line of urine from several directions, 
leading to the centre of the cover of the pitfall, where an accumulation 
of snow, saturated with the urine of the dog, is deposited as bait. 
One or more animals are thereby led to their destruction." — (Per- 
sonal letter from the Arctic explorer, W. H. Gilder, dated New York, 
October 15, 1889.) 

"The dogs of the Esquimaux are equally fond of excrement, espe- 
cially in cold weather, and when a resident of the Arctic desires to 


relieve himself, he finds it necessary to take a whip or a stick to 
defend himself against the energy of the hungry dogs. Often, wheu 
a man wants to urge his dog-team to greater exertion, he sends his 
wife or one of the boys to run ahead, and when at a distance, to stoop 
down and make believe he is relieving himself The dogs are thus 
spurred to furious exertion, and the boy runs on again, to repeat the 
delusion. This never fails of the desired effect, no matter how often 
repeated." — (Idem.) 

*' I only know one superstitious use of excrement, — that wherein 
the hooks were placed round some before the fishing incantations 
began." ("The Maoris of New Zealand," E. Tregear, in "Journal of 
the Anthrop. Institute," London, 1889.) This bears a very close 
resemblance to certain of the uses of cow-dung in India. 

The people of Angola, west coast of Africa, when about to set out 
on a hunt, are careful to collect the dung of the elephant, antelope, 
and other kinds of wild animals, and hand them to the medicine- 
man, who makes a magical compound out of them, and places it in a 
horn. It then serves as an amulet, and will ensure success in the 
hunt. — (" Muhongo," an African boy from Angola ; interpretation 
made by Rev. Mv. Chatelain.) 




A MONO the ancients there was a method of divination by excre- 
-^^*" mentitious materials. — (See " Scatomancie," in Bib. Scat. p. 28.) 

"Gaule, in his * Mag-Astromancers Posed and Puzzled' (p. 165), 
enumerates as follows the several species of divination." (Here fol- 
lows a list of fifty- three kinds.) One of the kinds enumerated is 
" Spatalomnacy, by skin, bones, excrement." — (Brand, ''Pop. Ant.," 
pp. 329, 330.) 

In the " Rhudhiradhyaya, or Sanguinary Chapter," translated from 
the Calica Puran, in the 4th vol. "Asiatic Researches," 4th ed., 
London, 1807, the following is stated in regard to human victims : 
" If, at the time of presenting the blood, the victim discharges faeces 
or urine, or turns about, it indicates certain death to the sacrificer." 

The Peruvians had one class of wizards (i. e., medicine-men) who 
"told fortunes by maize and the dung of sheep." — ("Fables and 
Rites of the Yncas," Padre Cristoval de Molina, translated by Clement 
C. Markham, Hakluyt Society Transactions, London, 1873, vol. xlviii., 
p. 14. Molina resided in Cuzco, as a missionary, from 1570 to 1584.) 

Les Hachus (a division of the Peruvian priesthood) cousultaient 
I'avenir au moyen de grains de ma'is ou des excrements des animaux. — 
(Balboa, " Histoire de Perou," p. 29, in Ternaux, vol. xv.) 

See, also, D. G. Brinton's " Myths of the New World," New York, 
1868, pp. 278, 279. 

Ducange, enumerating the pagan superstitions which still survived 
in Europe in a. d. 743, mentions divination or augury by the dung of 
horses, cattle, or birds : " De auguriis vel avium, vel equorum, vel 
boum stercoracibus." — (Ducange, Glossary, article " Stercoraces.") 

" What wise man would think that God would commit his counsel 
to a dog, an owle, a swine, or a toade ; or that he would hide his 
secret purposes in the dung or bowels of beastes '? " Reg. Scot (" Dis- 
coverie," p. 150), speaking of the omens consulted by Spaniards, 


English, and others, says : " Among the rustics of France, to dream of 
ordure was regarded as a sign of good luck ; in like manner, to have 
a ball, or anything that one carried in the hand, fall in ordure, was 
also a sign of good fortune." 

" To dream of ordure means that somebody is going to try to be- 
witch you." — ("Muhongo," a boy from Angola, Eastern Africa, in 
conversation with Captain Bourke ; translation by Rev. Mr. Chatelain.) 

This belief in the good or bad prognostications to be derived from 
dreams about ordure, was very widely disseminated. " Luck, or Good 
Luck. To tread in Sir Reverence ; to be bewrayed ; an allusion to 
the proverb, ' Sh-tt-n luck is good luck,* " — (" Grose, Diet, of Buckish 
Slang," London, 1811.) 

" Inasmuch as the sun of morning, or spring, comes out of the dark- 
blue bird of night, we can understand the popular Italian and German 
superstition, that when the excrement of a bird falls upon a man it is 
an omen of good luck. The excrement of the mythical bird of night, 
or winter, is the sun." — ("Zool. Mythol.," Angelo de Gubematis, 
vol. ii. p. 176, London, 1872.) 

" When a Hindu child's horoscope portends misfortune or crime, he 
is born again from a cow, thus : being di*essed in scarlet, and tied on a 
new sieve, he is passed between the hind legs of a cow, forward 
through the fore legs to the mouth, and again in the reverse direction, 
to simulate birth; the ordinary birth ceremonies (aspersion, etc.) are 
then gone through, and the father smells his son as a cow smells her 
calf."— (Frazer, "Totemism," Edinbiirgh, 1887, p. 33.) 

To put one's foot in dung is supposed by the French peasantry to 
imply the acquirement of wealth. — (Mr. W. W. Rockhill.) 

Among the Kamtchatkans, if a child has been born in stormy 
weather, they believe that to be a bad omen, and that the child will 
cause storm and rain wherever it goes. As soon as it is grown and 
can speak, they purify it, and appease heaven by the following method : 
During a most violent storm of wind and rain, the child is compelled 
to walk naked, holding a cup or shell of Mytues high above its head, 
around the ostrag and all balagans and dog huts, and to say the fol- 
lowing prayer to Billukai and his Kamuli : " Gsaulga, set yourselves 
down and stop urinating or storming ; this shell it used to salty but 
not to sweet water ; you make me very wet, and I almost freeze to 
death ; besides, I have no clothing ; see how I tremble." — (Steller, 
translated by Bunnemeyer.) 

Divination by urine seems to have been superseded by holy water 


ill a " chrystall." Scot, speaking of the latter mode, says : " They 
take a glass vial, full of holy water, ... on the mouth of the vial or 
urinall," etc. — ('• Di^coverie," p. 188.) 

There is among children in the United States and England, and pos- 
sibly on the continent of Europe as well, a superstition to the effect 
that the one who plucks the dandelion will become addicted to the 
habit of urinating in bed during sleep. The author has been unable 
to trace the origin of the curious notion or to obtain any explanation 
of it. 

" Leontodon. Dandelion. Children that eat it in the evening ex- 
perience its diuretic effects in the night, which is the reason that other 
European nations as well as the British vulgarly call it piss-a-bed." — 
(Encyclopaedia, Philadelphia, Penn., 1797, article "Leontodon.") 

" The following corapendidus new way of magical divination, which 
we find so humorously described in Butler's * Hudibras ' as follows, is 
affirmed by M. Le Blanc, in his * Travels,' to be used in the East 

Indies : — 

" ' Your modern Indian magician 

Makes but a hole in th' earth to pisse in. 
And straight resolves all questions by it, 
And seldom fails to be in th' right.' " 

(Brand, "Popular Antiquities," vol. iii. p. 331, article "Divination.") 

Cicero makes no mention of a method of divination by excrement, 
although, as shown by the references from the " Bib. Scat." and from 
Ducange, such methods must have been in vogue. 

The Kamtchatkans believe that " if they ease nature during 
sleep, it signifies guests of their nation." — (Steller, translated by 

Montfaucon says that the Roman Haruspices " observed in the 
beasts that were sacrificed not only the entrails in general, but also 
the gall and bladder in particular." — ("I'Antiquite expliquce," lib. i. 
part 1, cap. 6.) 

See extract from Gilder's " Schwatka's Search," imder " Mortuary 
Ceremonies," p. 262. See "Witchcraft," "Amulets and Talismans," 
" Urinoscopy," " Virginity," " Sterility," " Courtship and Marriage," 
" Childbirth." 




TN beginning this chapter it is fair to say that oaths will herein be 
-^ regarded as a modified form of the ancient ordeal, in which the 
affiant invokes upon himself, if proved to have sworn falsely, the tor- 
tures of the ordeal, mundane or celestial, which in an older form of 
civilization he would have been obliged to undergo as a preliminary 

The author learned while campaigning against the Sioux and Chey- 
ennes, in 1876-1877, that the Sioux and Assinaboines had a form of 
oath sworn to while the affiant held in each hand a piece of buffalo 

Among the Hindus, " sometimes the trial was confined to swallowing 
the water in which the priest had bathed the image of one of the 
divinities. . . . The negroes of Issyny dare not drink the water into 
which the fetiches have been dipped when they affirm what is not the 
truth." — (" Phil, of Magic," Eusebe Salverte, New York, 1862, vol. ii. 
p. 123.) 

They formerly may have drunk the urine of the god or priest. 

In "the 'Domesday Survey,' in the account of the city of Chester, 
vol. i. p. 262, we read : * Vir sive mulier falsam mensuram in civitate 
faciens deprehensus, IlII solid, emendab. Similiter malam cervisiam 
faciens, aut in Cathedra ponebatur stercoris, aut IIII solid, de prepotis.'" 
— (Brand, "Popular Antiquities," vol. iii. p. 103, article " Cucking 

" The ducking stool was a legal punishment. Roguish brewers and 
bakers were also liable to it, and they were to be ducked in stercore 
in the town ditch." — (Southey, "Commonplace Book," 1st series, 
p. 401, London, 1849.) 

In Loango, Africa, " When a man is suspected of an offence he is 
carried before the king," and " is compelled to drink an infusion of a 
kind of root called * imbando.' . . . The virtue of this root is that, if 


they put too much into the water, the person that drinketh it cannot 
void urine. . . . The ordeal consists in drinking and then in urinatiu"- 
as a proof of innoceuce." — (See " Adv. of Andrew Battel!," in Pinker- 
ton's " Voyages," vol. xvi. p. 334.) 

In Sierra Leone the natives have a curious custom to which they 
subject all of their tribe suspected of poisoning. They make the culprit 
drink a certain " red water ; after which for twenty-four hours he is 
not allowed to ease nature by any evacuation ; and should he not be 
able to restrain them, it would be considered as strong a proof of his 
guilt as if he had fallen a victim to the first draught." — (Lieutenant 
John Matthews, R. N., " Voyage to Sierra Leone," 1785, London, 1788, 
p. 126.) 

In the Hindu mythology, " slanderers and calumniators, stretched 
upon beds of red-hot iron, shall be obliged to eat excrements." — 
(Southey, " Commonplace Book," 1st series, London, 1849, p. 249. 
He also refers to 2 Kings xviii. 27, and to Isaiah xxxvi. 12.) 

" D'apres le systeme religieuse de Brahme, la punition des calomnia- 
teurs dans I'enfer, consiste k etre nourris d'excrements." — (Majer. 
Diet. ^lythol. en allemagne, t. 2, p. 46 ; Bib. Scat., p. 12.) 

Herodotus relates that Pheron, the son of Sesostris, conqueror of 
Egypt, became blind, and remained so for ten years. 

" But in the eleventh year an oracle reached him from the city of 
Buto, importing that the time of his punishment was expired, and he 
should recover his sight by washing his eyes with the urine of a woman 
who had intercourse with her own husband only, and had known no 
other man." Herodotus goes on to relate that Pheron tried the urine 
of his own wife and that of many other women ineffectually ; finally he 
was cured by the ui'ine of a woman whom he took to wife ; all the 
others he burnt to death. — ("Euterpe," part ii. cap. 3.) 

In the " Histoire Secrete du Prince Croq' Etron," par IM'lle Lau- 
bert, Paris, 1790, King Petaud orders Prince Gadourd to be buried 
alive in ordure, — a punishment which would have suggested the au- 
thor's acquaintance with Brahminical literature even had she not con- 
fessed it in these terms : " Genre de supplice qui n'dtait pas nouveau 
puisque d'apres le systeme religieux de Brahme, la punition des calom- 
niateurs dans I'enfer, consiste k etre nourri d'excrements." 

The Africans have an oi'deal, — ''a superstitious ordeal, by drinking 
the poisonous Muave," which induces vomiting only, according to 
Livingston (" Zambesi," London, 1865, p. 120). This mayor may not 
be the "red drink " of Lieutenant Matthews cited above. 


Under the head of " Latrines," allusion has been made to the pro- 
hibition, in the laws of the Thibetan Buddhists, against throwing ordure 
npon growing plants, etc. There is another case mentioned by Kock- 
hill, which may as well be inserted here : " Si une bhikshuni jette des 
excrements de I'autre cot^ d'un niur sans y avoir regarde, c'est un pa- 
cittiya." — (" Pratimoksha Sutra," translated by W. W. Kockhill, Soc. 
Asiatique, Paris, 1885.) 

In the words just quoted we find the definition of the offence as a 
" pacittiya," or sin. The punishment for each sin or class of sins was 
carefully regulated and well understood in Thibetan nunneries. 

"Cock-stool." " A seat of ignominy . . . in Avhich scolding or im- 
moral women used to be placed formerly as a punishment ; . . . same 
as ' sedes Stercoraria.' " — (" Folk-Etymology," Rev. A. Smythe-Palmer, 
London, 1882. See also Chambers's " Book of Days," vol. i. p. 211.) 

The Chinese have a very curious and very horrible mode of pun- 
ishment ; criminals of certain classes are enclosed in barrels or boxes 
filled with building lime, and exposed in a public street to the rays 
of the noon-day sun ; food in plenty is within reach of the unfor- 
tunate wretches, but it is salt fish, or other salt provision, with all the 
water needed to satisfy the thirst this food is certain to excite, but 
in the very alleviation of which the poor criminals are only adding 
to the torments to overtake them when by a more copious discharge 
from the kidneys the lime shall "quicken" and burn them to death. 

In the famous bull of Ernulphus, Bishop of Rochester, cited in " Tris- 
tram Shandy," the delinquent was to be cursed, " mingendo, cacando." 
— (See "Tristram Shandy," Lawrence Stenie, ed. of Loudon, 1873, 
vol. i. p. 188.) 

" Fasting on bread and drinking water defiled by the excrement of 
a fowl" are among the disciplinary punishments cited in Fosbroke's 
"Monachism," London, 1817, p. 308, note. 

This specimen of monastic discipline may be better understood when 
read between the lines. The veneration surroundmg chicken-dung in 
the religious system of the Celts, prior to the introduction of the 
Christian religion, could be uprooted in no more complete manner than 
by making its use a matter of scorn and contempt ; history is replete 
with examples wherein we are taught that the things which are held 
most sacred in one cult are the very ones upon which the fury and 
scorn of the superseding cultus are wreaked. On this point read the 
notes taken from the pamphlet of Mr. James Mooney, in regard to the 
superstitions attaching to the uses of chicken-dung among the Irish 


" I have mentioned the sacrifice of cocks by Kelts ; it was, and still 
is, all over Asia, the cheap, common, and very venial substitute for 
man." — (" Eivers of Life," Forlong, London, 1883, vol. ii. p. 274.) 

We may reasonably infer that the dung of chickens as used by the 
Irish is a representative of, and a substitute for, human ordure. 

The Easter season which has preserved and transmitted to our times 
so many pagan usages, has among its superstitions one to the effect 
that " every person must have some part of his dress new on Easter 
day, or he will have no good fortune that year. Another saying is 
that unless that condition be fulfilled, the birds are likely to spoil your 
clothes."— (Brand, "Pop. Antiq." vol. i. p. 165, art. "Easter Day.") 

The Kalmucks believe in many places of future punishment, one of 
them being " un de ces sejours est couvert d'une nuee d'ordures et de 
vidanges." (Pallas, Paris, 1793, vol. i. p. 552.) This is the belief 
inculcated by their Lamas. 

At the Lithuanian festival called " Sabarios," fowls were killed and 
eaten. " The bones were then given to the dog to eat ; if he did not 
eat them all up, the remains were buried under the dung in the cattle- 
stall."— ("The Golden Bough," vol. ii. p. 70.) 

In cases of sickness " the inhabitants of a village are forbidden to 
wash themselves for a number of days, » , . and to clean their cham- 
ber-pots before sun-rise." — ("The Central Eskimo," Dr. Franz Boas, 
in Sixth An. Rep. Bur. of Ethnol. Wash. D. C. 1888, p. 593.) 

" We have seen that in modern Europe, the person who cuts or binds 
or threshes the last sheaf is often exposed to rough treatment at the 
hands of his fellow-laborers. For example, he is bound up in the last 
sheaf and thus encased is carried or carted about, beaten, drenched with 
water, thrown on a dunghill, etc." — ("The Golden Bough," i. 367.) 

In several parts of Germany, the Fool of the Carnival was buried 
under a dung-heap. (Idem, vol. i. p. 256.) Further on, is given this 
explanation : " The burying of the representative of the Carnival under 
adung-heap is natural, if he is supposed to possess a quickening and 
fertilizing influence like that ascribed to the effigy of Death." — (Idem, 
vol. i. p. 270.) 

" In Siam it was formerly the custom, on one day of the year, to 
single out a woman broken down by debauchery, and caiTy her on a 
litter through all the streets, to the music of drums and hautboys. 
The mob insulted her and pelted her with dirt ; and, after having car- 
ried her through the whole city, they threw her on a dunghill. . . . 
They believed that the woman thus drew upon herself all the maliga 
influences of the air and of evil spirits." — (Idem, vol. ii. p. 196. 


In Suabia there is a rough harvest game in ^vhich-one of the labor- 
ers takes the part of the sow ; he is pursued by his comrades and if 
they catch him " they handle him roughly, beating him, blackening or 
dirtying his face, throwing him into filth. ... At other times he is 
put in a wheelbarrow. . . After being wheeled round the village, he 
is flung on a dunghill" — (Idem, vol. ii. pp. 27, 28.) 

The negroes of Guinea are firm believers in the theory of Obsession, 
and have a god " Abiku " who " takes up his abode in the human 
body." He generally bothers little children, who sometimes die. " If 
the child dies, the body is thrown on the dirt-heap to be devoured 
by wild beasts." — ("Fetichism," Baudin, p. 57.) 

" The Iroquois inaugurated the new year in January " with " a festi- 
val of dreams. ... It was a time of general license. . . . Many seized 
the opportunity of paying off old scores by belaboring obnoxious per- 
sons, . . . covering them with filth and hot ashes." — (" The Golden 
Bough," vol. ii. p, 165, quoting Charlevoix, "La Nouvelle France.") 

" During the madder harvest in the Dutch province of Zealand, a 
stranger passing by a field where the people are digging the madder 
roots, ' will sometimes call out to them, Koortspillers ' (a term of re- 
proach). Upon this, two of the fleetest runners make after him, and 
if they catch him, they bring him back to the madder field and bury 
him in the earth up to his middle at least, jeering at him all the while ; 
they then ease nature before his face." — (Idem, vol. i. p. 379.) 

" ^NTow, it is an old superstition that by easing nature on the spot 
where a robbery is committed, the robbers secure themselves for a 
certain time against interruption, . . . The fact, therefore, that the 
madder-diggers resort to this proceeding in presence of the stranger 
proves that they consider themselves robbers and him as the person 
robbed." — (Idem, p. 380.) 

In connection with the above, the following deserves consideration : 
" Reverence. An ancient custom which obliges any person easing him- 
self near the highway or footpath, on the word * reverence ' being given 
him by a passenger, to take off his hat with his teeth, and, without 
moving from his station, to throw it over his head, by which it fre- 
quently falls into the excrement. This was considered as a punish- 
ment for the breach of delicacy. A person refusing to obey this law 
might be pushed backwards. Hence, perhaps, the term 'sir-rever- 
ence.' " — (Grose, " Diet, of Buckish Slang.") 

It is more likely that the practice had some connection with the 
fear of witchcraft, or the evil eye of the stranger ; we can hardly credit 


that peasant y living in an age when the highest classes received their 

guests at bedside receptions, " ruelles," or in their " cabinets d'aisance," 
would be squeamish in the trifling matter just alluded to. 

In Japan " When any of these panders die . . . their bodies are 
cast upon a dunghill." — (John Saris, in Purchas, i. 3G8, a. d. 1611.) 

" The tricks of the fayry called Pach." " I smurch her face if it be 
cleane, but if it be durty, I wash it in the next pisse-pot I can findo." 
— ("Life of Robin Goodfellow," Black Letter, London, 1628, in Haz- 
litt's "Fairy Tales," London, 1875, p. 205.) 

Eut the "women fayries," under similar circumstances, "wash their 
faces and hands with a gilded cliild's clout." — (Idem, p. 206.) 

" Their own spirits too will have nothing but excrement to eat, if 
during life the rites of the Bora (Initiation) have not been duly per- 
formed. With this compare the declaration of the Indian Manes (xii. 
71) that a Kahatya who has not done his duty, will, after death, have 
to live on ordure and carrion. And in the Melanesian Hades the 
ghosts of the wicked have nothing to eat but vile refuse and excre- 
ment." — (Personal Letter from John Frazer, LL.D., to Captain Bourke, 
dated Sydney, New South Wales, Dec. 24, 1889.) 

The Australians believed that if a man did not allow the septum of 
the nose to be pierced, he would suffer in the next world. " As soon 
as ever the spirit Egowk left the body, it would be required, as a pun- 
ishment, to eat Toorta-gwannang " (filth not proper for translation). — 
("Aborigines of Victoria," Smyth, vol. i. p. 274.) 

Among some of the Australian tribes is found a potent deity named 
" Pund-jel," whom Mr. Andrew Lang thinks may be the Eagle-Hawk. 
" As a punisher of wicked people, Pund-jel was once moved to drown 
the world, and this he did by a flood which he produced (as Dr. Brown 
says of another affair) by a familiar Gulliverian application of hy- 
draulics." — ("Myth, Bit., and Relig.," Lang, London, 1887, ii. 5.) 

Maurice cites five meritorious kinds of suicide, in the second of 
which the Hindu devotee is described as "covering himself with cow- 
dung, setting it on fire, and consuming himself therein." — (Maurice, 
"Indian Antiquities," London, 1800, vol. ii. p. 49.) 

"Throw this slave upon the dunghill." — (King Lear, act. ill sc. 6.) 
When Squire Iden killed Jack Kade he exclaimed : — 

" Hence will I drag thee, headlong by the heels, 
Unto a dunghill which shall be thy grave." — (2 K. Henry, vi. 10.) 

" Steward. Out, dunghill." — (King Lear, act iv. sc. 6.) 


"Forbearance from meat and work are also prescribed to a single 
woman in case the sun or moon (though we should rather call it a bird 
flying by) should let any uncleanness drop upon her; otherwise, she 
might be unfortunate, or even deprived of her life." — (Crantz, " His- 
tory of Greenland," London, 1767, vol. i. p. 216.) 

The " bitter water " of the Hebrew ordeals by which the woman ac- 
cused of unfaithfulness was either proved innocent, or had her belly 
burst upon drinking, presents itself in this connection. — (See Num- 
bers V.) 

Dante, in his cap. xiii. speaks of those condemned for flattery : " a 
crowd immersed in ordure." — (Gary's translation.) 

Ducange alludes to what may have been an ordeal or a punishment : 
" Aquam sordidam et stercoratem super sponsamjactare." — (" In Lege 
Longobardi," lib. i. tit. 16, c. 8.) 

The Hebrew prophets sat on dungheaps while the recalcitrant j)eo- 
ple of Israel were warned : " Behold, I will spread dung upon your 
faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts, and one shall take you away 
with it."— (Malachi ii. 3.) 

By reference to another portion of this volume, it will be seen that 
stercoraceous matter was deemed potent in frustrating witchcraft. 
Thus a mother was ordered to throw a " changeling " child upon a dung- 
hill (p. 403.) The prostitutes of Amsterdam kept horse-dung in 
their houses for good luck, etc. Consequently, when we read of the 
corpses of criminals or witches having been thrown upon dunghills, we 
may let fancy indulge the idea that it was to render nugatory any 
schemes the ghost might cherish of wreaking revenge. 

The historian Suetonius relates that tho unfortunate Roman em- 
peror Vitellius was pelted with excrement before being put to death. 

Among the imlawful acts for Brahmans or Kshatriyas who are com- 
pelled to support themselves by following the occupations of Yaisyas, 
is selling sesamum, unless " they themselves have produced it by tillage. 
. . . If he applies sesamum to any other purpose but food, anointing, 
and charitable gifts, he will be bom again as a worm, and together with 
his ancestors be plunged into his own ordure." — ('* Vasishtha," cap. ii. 
27-30. " Sacred Books of the East," Oxford, 1882, vol. xiv., edition 
of Max Miiller. This is one of the oldest of the Sacred Books. The 
same prohibition is to be found in "Prasna" 11, "Adhyaya" 1, 
" Kandika " 2.) 




TT is somewhat singular to find in the myths of the Zunis — the 
-*- very people among whom we have discovered the existence of this 
filthy rite of urine-drinking — an allusion to the fact that to throw 
urine upon persons or near their dwellings was to he looked upon as an 
insult of the gravest character. During the eai-ly winter of 1881 the 
author was at the Pueblo of Zuni, New Mexico, while Mr. Frank H. 
Gushing was engaged in the researches which have since placed him at 
the head of American anthropologists, and then heard recited by the 
old men the long myth of the young boy who went to the Spirit Land 
to seek his father. One of the incidents upon which the story-tellers 
dwelt with much insistence was the degradation and ignominy in 
which the boy and his poor mother lived in their native village, as was 
shown by the fiict that their neighbors were in the habit of emptying 
their urine vessels upon their roof and in front of their door. 

The threat made against the Jews by Sennacherib (in Isaiah xxxvi. 
12) deserves consideration in this connection; and also the threat in 
the Old Testament, " There shall not be left one that pisses against 
the wall." 

" Connected with the Samoan wars, several other things may be 
noted, such as consulting the gods, . . . haranguing each other previ- 
ous to a fight, the very counterpart of Abijah, King of Judah, and 
even word for word with the filthy-tongued Rabshakeh." — (" Samoa,'' 
Turner, p. 194.) 

The people of Samoa have a myth relating a separation which oc- 
curred between the natives of several islands, due to the fact that the 
men and women living on Tutuaila " began to make a dunghill of their 
floating island." — (Olosenga, idem, p. 225.) 

" Nebuchadnezzar likewise gave Zedekiah (after he had made him 
dance and play before him a long while) a laxative drink, so that, like 
a beastly old fellow (as there are many such betwixt York and London), 


totus deturpatus fuit, he smelt as ill as your Ajax." In a marginal 
reference, he adds : " According to an old ballad, — 

' And all to b n was he, was he.' " 

— (Harington, "Ajax," p. 35.) 

This behavior, disgusting as it appears to us in all its features, had 
its parallel in the conduct of a prominent member of European aristoc- 
racy, who was wont to indulge his anger in a manner strikingly similar 
to the above at such moments as seemed to be proper for the punish- 
ment of his servants. His name is suppressed at the request of tlje 
correspondent furnishing the item. 

Niebuhr says that the grossest insult that can be oflFered to a man, 
especially a Mahometan, in Arabia, is to spit upon his beard, or to 
say " De I'ordure sur ta barbe." — (" Desc. de 1' Arabic," Amsterdam, 
1774, p. 26.) 

Niebuhr's remarks in regard to the offence taken by the Bedouins at 
such an infraction of their etiquette as flatulence are repeated in a 
vague and guarded form by Maltebrun (" Univ. Geog.," vol. ii. part 

In Angola, Africa, the greatest insult is, "Go and eat s — t." 

— (Muhongo.) 

" Dunghill. A coward. A cock-pit phrase, all but gamecocks being 
styled dunghills." — (Grose, "Dictionary of Slang, London," 1811.) 

Tailors who accepted the wages prescribed by law were styled 
"Dung" by the "Flints," who refused them. — (Idem.) 

Among the rough games of English sailors was one, " The Galley," 
in which a mopful of excrement was thrust in a landsman's face. — 

In Angola, Africa, flatulence is freely permitted among the natives ; 
but any license of this kind taken while strangers are in the vicinity is 
regarded as a deadly insult. — ("Muhongo," translated by Rev. Mr. 

In the report of one of the early American explorations to the Trans- 
Missouri region occurs the story that the Republican Pawnees, Nebraska, 
once (about 1780-90) violated the laws of hospitality by seizing a 
calumet-bearer of the Omahas who had entered their village, and, 
among other indignities, making him " drink urine mixed with bison 
gall." _ ("Long's Expedition," Philadelphia, 1823, vol. i. p. 300.) 

Bison gall itself sprinkled upon raw liver, just warm from the car- 
cass, was regarded as a delicacy. The expression " excrement eater " 



is applied by the Mandans and others on the Upper Missouri as a term 
of the vilest opprobrium, according to Surgeon Washington Matthews, 
U. S. Army (author of '* Hidatsa," and other ethnological works of 
authority), whose remarks are based upon an unusually extended and 
intelligent experience. 

" They gave me the abuse of the Punjabi, . . . pelting me with 
sticks and cow-dung till I fell down and cried for mercy." — (" Gemini," 
Rudyard Kipling, in "Soldiers Three," New York, 1890.) 

" May the garbage of the foundations of the city be thy food ; may 
the drains of the city be thy drink." — (" The Chaldean Account of 
Genesis," George Smith, New York, 1880.) 

Among the Cheyenne expressions of contempt is to be found one 
which recalls the objurgations of the Bedouins; namely, natsi-viz, or 
"s — t-mouth." — (Personal notes of September 25, 1878, interview 
■with the chiefs of the Northern Cheyennes, Ben Clark, interpreter.) 

Rev. J. Owen Dorsey, who has made such pi'olonged and careful 
studies of the manners and myths of the tribes of the Siouan stock, 
is authority for the statement that the worst insult that one Ponca 
can give another is to say, " You are an eater of dog-dung ; " and it 
is noticeable that the words of the expression are rarely used in 
the language of every-day life. He gives other examples from myths, 
etc., and supplies a variant of the story narrated by Captain Long ; 
but as all this is to appear in one of the Doctor's coming books, it is 
omitted from these pages. 

The Kamchatkans say, " May you have one hundred burning lamps 
in your podex," " Eater of faeces with his fish-spawn," etc. — (Steller, 
translated by Bunnemej'er.) 

" Stercus." As a term of abuse. — " Nolo stercus curiae dici Glau- 
ciam." — (Cicero, " De Oratoribus," 3, 41, 164; Andrew's "Latin 
Dictionary," New York, 1879, article "Stercus.") 

Caracalla put to death those who made water in front of his 
statues. " Damnati sunt eo tempore (that is, the end of his wars with 
the Germans) qui urinam in eo loco ferrant in quo statuae aut imagines 
erant principis." — (Aelius Lampridius, "Life of the Emperor Cara- 
calla," edition of Frankfort, 1588, p. 186, lines 43 and 44.) 

There are some very singular laws of the ancient Burgundians in 
regard to abusive words. " Si quis alterum concagatum clamaverit, 
120 denariis mulctetur." — (Barrington, " Obs. on the Statutes," Lon- 
don, 1775, p. 315.) 


" I '11 pick thy head upon my sword. 
And piss in thy very visonomy." 
("Ram Alley," Ludowick Barry, 1611, edition of London, 1825.) 

" The devil's dung in thy teeth." 
(" The Honest Whore," Thomas Dekkar, 1604, edition of London. 1825.) 

•* Again the coarsest word, khara. The allusion is to the vulgar 
saying, * Thou eatest skitel ' (that is, ' Thou talkest nonsense '). Decent 
pjnglish writers modify this to ' Thou eatest dirt ; ' and Lord Beacons- 
field made it ridiculous by turning it into * eating sand.' " — (" Ara- 
bian Nights," Burton's edition, vol. ii. pp. 222, 223.) 

Headers of classical history will recall the incident of the outrage 
perpetrated by the mob of Tarentum upon the person of the Roman 
ambassador Posthumus, 282 B. c. A buffoon in the street threw filth 
upon his toga. The ambassador refused to be mollified, and tersely 
telling his assailants that many a drop of Tarentine blood would be 
required to wash out the stains, took out his departure. A cruel war 
followed, and the Tarentines were reduced to the rank of a conquered 
province. — (See " History of Rome," Victor Duruy, English transla- 
tion, Boston, 1887, vol. i. p. 462.) 

** When the multitude had come to Jerusalem, to the feast of un- 
leavened bread, and the Roman cohort stood over the temple, . . 
one of the soldiers pulled back his garment, and stooping down after 
an indecent manner, turned his posteriors to the Jews, and spake such 
words as might be expected upon such a posture." The nairation de- 
scribes the riot which followed as a result, and ten thousand people 
were killed. — (See Josephus, " Wars of the Jews," book ii. edition of 
New York, 1821.) 

The dispute between Richard the Lion-Hearted and the Arch-Duke 
of Austria, which resulted afterwards in the incarceration of the Eng- 
lish king in a dungeon, had its rise in the great insult of throwing the 
Austrian standard down into a privy. Matthew of Paris says distinctly 
that Richard himself did this. "Now he, being over well disposed to 
the cause of the Norman, waxed wroth with the Duke's train, and gave 
a headstrong, unseemly order for the Duke's banner to be cast into a 
cesspool." — (See " The Third Crusade and Richard the First," T. A. 
Archer, in " English History from Contemporary Writers," New York, 

" Bigot. Out, dunghill ! Darest thou brave a nobleman ? " 

(" King John," iv. 3.) 


" Oloster. Shall I be flouted thus by dunghill grooms ? " 

("1 King Henry VI.," i. 3.) 

*' York. Base dunghUl villain and mechanical." 

("2 King Henry VI.," i. 3.) 

" ' Khara,' meaning dung, is the lowest possible insult. ' Ta-kara ' is 
the commonest of insults, used also by modest women. I have heard 
a mother use it to her son." — (Burton, "Arabian Nights," vol. ii. 
p. 59, footnote.) 




A PARSI is defiled by touching a corpse. "And when he is in 
"^^ contact and does not move it, he is to be washed with bull's 
urine and water." — (" Shapast la Shayast," cap. 2. ; " Sacred Books 
of the East," Max Miiller, editor, Oxford, 1880, pp. 262, 269, 270, 272, 
273, 279, 281, 282, 333, 349.) 

In the cremation of a Hhidu corpse at Bombay, the ashes of the 
pyre were sprinkled with water, a cake of cow-dung placed in the 
centre, and around it a small stream of cow-urine ; upon this were 
placed plantain-leaves, rice-cakes, and flowers. — (" Modem India," 
Monier Williams, p. 65.) 

" They who return from the funeral must touch the stone of Pria- 
pus, a fire, the excrement of a cow, a grain of sesame, and water, — all 
symbols of that fecundity which the contact with a corpse might have 
destroyed." — ("Zool. Mythol.," De Gubernatis, p. 49.) 

The followers of Zoroaster were enjoined to pull a dead body out of 
the water. "No sin attaches to him for any bone, hair, grass, flesh, 
dung, or blood that may drop back into the water." — (Fargard YL, 
Vendidad, Zendavesta, Darmesteter's edition ; Max Miiller's edition of 
the '• Sacred Books of the East," Oxford, 1880, p. 70.) 

" There dies a man in the depths of the vale ; a bird takes flight 
from the top of the mountain down into the depths of the vale, and it 
eats up the corpse of the dead man there ; then up it flies from 
the depths of the vale to the top of the mountain ; it flies to some 
one of the trees there, — of the hard-wooded or the soft-wooded, and 
upon that tree it vomits, it deposits dung, it drops pieces from the 
corpse. ... If a man chop any of that wood for a fire, he is not 
regarded as defiled because . . . Ahura-Mazda answered, ' There is no 
sin upon any man for any dead matter that has been brought by dogs, 
by birds, by wolves, by winds, or by flies.' " — (Fargard V., of same 


If a dog had died on a piece of ground, the ground had to lie fallow 
for a year ; at the end of that time, " they shall look on the ground 
for any bones, hair, flesh, dung, or blood that may be there." — (Far- 
gard VI.) 

If the clothing of the dead " has not been defiled with seed or 
sweat or dirt or vomit, then the worshippers of Mazda shall wash it 
with gomez." — (Fargard VII. Gomez (bull-urine) again alluded to 
as the great purifier on pp. 78-80, 104, 117, 118, 122, 123, 128, 182, 
183, 212.) 

The sacred vessels that had been defiled by the touch of a corpse 
were to be cleaned with gomez. — (Idem, pp. 91, 92.) 

The most efficacious gomez was that of "an ungelded bull." — 
(Idem, p. 212.) 

" They shall cover the surface of the grave with ashes or cow- 
dung." — (Fargard VIII.) 

" Let the worshippers of Mazda here bring the urine wherewith the 
corpse-bearers shall wash their hair and their bodies." — (Fargard 
VIII. See, also, p. 201 of this volume.) 

In describing the funerals of the Eskimo, Gilder says : " The closing 
ceremony was a most touching one. After ' Papa ' had returned from 
the grave, Armow went out of doors and brought in a piece of frozen 
something that it is not polite to specify, further than that the dogs 
had entirely done with it, and with it he touched ever}' block of snow 
on a level with the beds of the igloo. The article was then taken out 
of doors and tossed up in the air, to fall at his feet ; and by the 
manner in which it fell he could joyfully announce that there was 
no liability of further deaths in camp for some time to come." — 
C'Schwatka's Search," Gilder, p. 234.) 

"The Africans have an evil spirit called * Abiku,' who takes up his 
abode in the human body." This spirit is believed to cause the death 
of children. " If the child dies, the body is thrown on the dirt- 
heap."— ("Fetichism," Baudin, p. 57.) 

There is also a purification of the soul of the dying by the same 
peculiar methods. In Coromandel,^ the dying man is so placed that 

* Au Coromandel, ils mettent le visage du mourant sur le derritre d'une vache, 
Ifevent la queue de I'animal et I'excitent h lacher son urine sur le visage ... si 
I'urine coule sur la face du malade, I'assemblee s'ecrie de joye et le compte parrai 
les hienheureux, mais . . . si la vache n'est pas d'humeur d'uriner, on s'en atllige. 
— (Picart, " Coutumes et c^r^monies religieuses, " etc., Amsterdam, 1729, vol. vii. 
p. 28.) 


his face will come under the tail of a cow ; the tail is lifted, and the 
cow excited to void her urine. If the urine fall on the face of the sick 
man, the people cry out with joy, considering him to be one of the 
blessed ; but if the sacred animal be in no humor to gratify their 
wishes, they are greatly afflicted. 

" The inhabitants of the coast of Coromandel carried those of their 
sick who were on the point of death, as a last resource, to the back of 
a fat cow, whose tail they twisted to make her urinate ; if the cow's 
urine spread over the whole face of the patient, it was a very good 
sign to the dirty rascals." — (Paullini, pp. 80, 81.) 

With equal solicitude does the Hottentot medicine-man follow the 
remains of his kinsmen to the grave, aspersing with the same sacred 
liquid the corpse of the dead and the persons of the mourners who 
bewail his fate.' 

At Hottentot funerals, " two old men, the friends or relations of the 
deceased, enter each circle and sparingly dispense their streams upon 
each person, so that all may have some ; all the company receive their 
water with eagerness and veneration. This being done, each steps 
into the hut, and taking up a handful of ashes from the hearth, comes 
out by the passage made by the corpse, and strews the ashes by little 
and little upon the whole company. This, they say, is done to humble 
their pride." — (Kolbein, p. 401.) 

" It is a pity that men in a savage state should take delight in 
doing that which is nasty, but such is the fact. It is a very common 
custom for the tribe, or that portion of it who are related to the one 
who has died, to rub themselves with the moisture that comes from 
the dead friend. They rub themselves with it until the whole of 
them have the same smell as the corpse." — (" Aborigines of Victoria," 
Smyth, vol. i. p. 131.) But in a footnote he adds that some of the 
Australians will not touch a dead body with the naked hand. 

In the mortuary ceremonies of the Encoimter Bay tribe (South 
Australians), "the old women put human excrement on their heads, — 
the sign of deepest mourning." — (Idem, vol. i. p. 113.) 

The corpse of an Australian chief was surrounded "with wailing 
women, smeared with filth and ashes." — (" Native Tribes of South 
Australia," Adelaide, 1879, p. 75, received through the kindness of 
the Eoyal Society, New South Wales, Sydney, T. B. Kyngdon, 

^ Picart, Coutumes et ceremonies religieuses, etc., Amsterdam, 1729, vol. vii., 
pp. 52, 57. 


" In the burial ceremonies, the women of many tribes besmear or 
plaster their heads with excrement and pipe-clay." — (Personal letter 
from John F. Mann, Esq., dated Neutral Bay, Sydney, New South 

" When a child dies, women who carried it in their hands must 
throw their jackets away if the child has urinated on them. This is 
jjart of the custom that everything that has come in contact with a 
dead person must be destroyed." — ("The Central Eskimo," Boas, 
p. 612.) 

The Kootenays of Canada have a ceremonial aspersion after fu- 
nerals. " When those who have buried the body return, they take a 
thorn bush, dip it into a kettle of water, and sprinkle the doors of all 
lodges." — (''Report on the Northwest Tribes of Canada," Dr. Franz 
Boas, to the British Association for the Advancement of Science," 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne meeting, 1889, p. 46.) 

Describing Italian funerals, Blunt says : " When the procession has 
reached the church, the bier is set down in the nave, and the officiating 
priest, in the course of the appointed service, sprinkles the body with 
holy water three times, — a rite in all probability ensuing from that 
practised by the Romans, of thrice sprinkling the bystanders with the 
same element." — ("Vestiges," p. 183.) 

In the Tonga Islands, there are two principal personages, — Tooi- 
tonga and Veachi, — who are believed to be the living representatives 
of powerful gods. Upon the death of Tooitonga, certain ceremonies 
are practised, among which : " The men now approach the mount, 
i. e., the funeral mound, it being dark, and, if the phrase be allowable, 
perform the devotions to Cloacina, after which they retire. As soon 
as it is daylight the following morning, the women of the first rank, 
wives and daughters of the greatest chiefs, assemble with their female 
attendants, bringing baskets, one holding one side and one the other, 
advancing two and two, with large shells to clear up the depositions of 
the preceding night, and in this ceremonious act of humiliation, no 
female of the highest consequence refuses to take her part. Some of 
the mourners in the ' fy toca ' generally come out to assist ; so that, in 
a very little while, the place is made perfectly clean. This is repeated 
the fourteen following nights, and as punctually cleaned away by 
sunrise every morning. No persons but the agents are allowed to be 
witnesses of these extraordinary ceremonies ; at least, it would be 
considered highly indecorous and irreligious to be so. On the sixteenth 
day, early in the morning, the same females again assemble ; but now 


they are dressed up in the finest 'gnatoo,' and most beautiful Hamao 
mats, decorated with ribbons, and with wreaths of flowers round their 
necks ; they also bring new baskets ornamented with flowers, and little 
brooms, very tastefully made. Thus equipped they approach, and act 
as if they had the same task to do as before, pretending to clear away 
the dirt, though no dirt is now there, and take it away in their blan- 
kets. . . . The natives themselves used to regret that the filthy part 
of these ceremonies was necessary to be performed, . . . and that it 
was the duty of the most exalted nobles, even of the most delicate 
females of rank, to perform the meanest and most disgusting offices, 
rather than that the sacred grounds in which he was buried should 
remain polluted." (Dillon's "Expedition in Search of La Perouse," 
London, 1829, vol. ii. pp. 57-59.) Dillon says that this "must be 
considered a religious rite, standing upon the foundation of very 
ancient customs." — (Idem, p. 57.) 




" A LL peoples have invented myths to explain why they observed 
-^ certain customs." — (" The Golden Bough," vol. ii. p. 128.) 

" Myth changes while custom remains constant ; men continue to do 
what their fathers did before them, though the reasons on which their 
fathers acted have long been forgotten. The history of religion is a 
long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason ; to find a 
sound theory for an absurd practice." — (Idem, p. 62.) 

The Australians have a myth of the Creation of Man ; it is given in 
Latin : ** Ningorope Isetitiae plena in latrina lutum amoene erubescens 
cemebat ; hoc in hominis figuram formabat, quse tactu divae motum 
vitalem sumebat et done ridebat." — ("Aborig. of Victoria," Smyth, 
vol. i. p. 425.) 

This myth is given in English from another authority, on next page 
of this volume. 

The Creation Myth of the Australians relates that the god " Bund- 
jil oceanum creavit minctione per plures dies in terrarum orbem. 
Bullarto Bulgo magnam lotii copiam indicat." (Idem, vol. i. p. 429.) 
(Bund-jil created the ocean by urinating for many days upon the orb 
of the earth.) The natives say that the god being angry " Bullarto 
Bulgo " upon the earth. Bullarto Bulgo indicates a gi*eat flow of urine. 

The same myth has already been given from Andrew Lang, under 
" Ordeals and Punishments." 

In the cosmogonical myths of the islanders of Kadiack, it is related 
that the first woman, " by making water, produced seas." — (Lisiansky, 
"Voy. round the World," London, 1814, p. 197.) 

" In the fourth story " (i. e., stories told by the Kalmucks and Mon- 
gols) " it is under the excrement of a cow that the enchanted gem, 
lost by the daughter of the king, is found." — (''Zool. Mythol." De 
Gubematis, p. 129.) 

In the mythic lore of the Hindus, the god Utanka sets out on a jour- 
ney, protected by Indras. " On his way, he meets a gigantic bull, and 

MYTHS. 267 

a horseman who bids him, if he would succeed, eat the excrement of 
the bull; he does so, rinsing his mouth afterwards." — (Idem, p. 80.) 

Further on we learn that Utanka was told " the excrement of the 
bull was the ambrosia which made him immortal in the kingdom of 
the serpents." (Idem, pp. 81, 95.) Here we have the analogue of 
the use of excrement and urine in Europe to bafiBe witches, and of the 
drinking of the Siberian girl's urine, which in all probability was prof- 
fered to the guest as an assurance that no witchcraft was in con- 
templation, or else to baffle the witches, much as, in England, bridal 
couples urinated through the weddmg ring. 

The Chinese have a mythical animal which has been identified with 
the Tapir; it is called the Mih ; to it they ascribe the power to eat 
iron and copper. "For this reason the urine of this animal is pre- 
scribed when a person has swallowed iron or copper ; it will, in a short 
time, change them into water." — ("Chinese Repository," Canton, 
1839, vol. vii. pp. 46, 47.) 

" The story of Joa lo Praube is repeated almost word for word in the 
adventures of the Kamtchatkan god ' Kutka ; ' or, to be more exact, 
there is a myth in which it is narrated that that god had a great many 
tricks played upon him, in one of which he runs sticks into his gluteal 
region." — (Steller, translated by Bunnemeyer.) 

This god Kutka was a great sodomite, and in some points, resembled 
the anti-natural god of the Sioux. 

Speaking of the god "Aidowedo," the serpent in the Rainbow as 
believed by the Negroes of Guinea, Father Baudin says : " He who 
finds the excrement of this serpent is rich forever, for with this talis- 
man he can change grains of com into shells which pass for money." 
(" Fetichism," Rev. F. Baudin, New York, 1885, p. 47.) He goes 
on to narrate a very amusing tale to the effect that the negroes got the 
idea that a prism in his possession gave him the power to bring the 
Rainbow down into his room at will, and that he could obtain unlimited 
quantities of the precious excrement. 

Another myth of the foolish god "Kutka" represents him as falling 
in love with his own excrement and wooing it as his bride ; he takes it 
home in his sleigh, puts it in his bed, and is only restored to a sense 
of his absurd position by the vile smell. — (Steller, translated by 

Possibly all this may be a myth to explain or to represent the state 
of mind into which those who indulged in the " muck-a-moor " were 
thrown, but even this interpretation seems far-fetched. 


Sir John Moore, it is stated, fell in love with his own urine^ and we 
have read from Montaigne the story of the French gentleman who pre- 
served his egestse to show to his visitors. 

The tribes of the Narinyeri, Encounter Bay, South Australia, have 
a legend that difference in language was caused when certain of their 
ancestors " ate the contents of the intestines of the goddess ' Wurruri.' " 
— ("Nat. tribes of South Australia," Adelaide, 1879, p. 60, received 
through the kindness of the Koy. Soc, Sydney, N. S. Wales, T. B. 
Kyngdon, Secretary.) 

In the same chapter we are told of the omission of one or two cere- 
monies "which were too indecent for general readers " (p. 61). 

In the " Bachiller de Salamanca," Le Sage has a hero whose misfor- 
times would lead us to suspect that Le Sage had been reading of some 
of the doings of the Kamtchatkan god *' Kutka," who, among the nu- 
merous pranks played upon him by his enemies, the mice, suffered the 
ignominy of having " a bag made offish-skin attached to his orificium ani 
while he lay sound asleep. On his way home Kutka desired to relieve 
nature, but was much surprised, on leaving, at the insignificant deposit 
notwithstanding he had freed himself of so great a burden. 

" Surprised at his cleanliness, he narrated the circumstances to Clachy 
(his wife), who soon discovered the true state of affairs, and pulling off 
Kutka's pantaloons, detached the heavily laden bag with great laugh- 
ters." — (Steller, translated by Bunnemeyer.) 

In the 14th century farce of "Le Muynier," the Miller has ab- 
sorbed some of the popular ideas of his day, professed by certain phil- 
osophers of the time. He believes that, at the moment of death, the 
soul of a man escapes by the anus, and warns the priest to absolve him 
from his sins, saying : " Hon ventre trop se determine. Helas ! Je 
ne scay que je face ; ostez vous." 

The priest answers : " Ha ! sauf vostre grace ! " 

Then the miller remarks : " Ostez-vous, car je me conchye." 

The wife and the priest pull the sick man to the edge of the bed and 
place him in such a position that if the doctrine of soul-departure by 
the anus be true, they may witness the miller's final performance. 
The phenomenon of rectal fliitulence is now observed, when suddenly, to 
the consternation of the wife and priest, a demon appears and placing 
a sack over the dying miller's anus, catches the rectal gas and flies off 
in sulphurous vapor. — ("Med. in the Middle Ages," Minor, p. 84, 
translated from " Le Moyen Age Medical," by Dupuoy.) 

It was generally believed in Europe that the eggs of the Basilisk or 

MYTHS. 269 

Cockatrice could only be hatched by a toad or by the heat of a manure- 
pile. — (See "Melusine," Paris, January-February, 1890, p. 20.) 

Ireland has been called the " Urinal of the Planets " from the con- 
stant and copious rains which visit it. — (See Grose, " Diet, of Buckish 
Slang," London, 1811.) 

The Apaches have a myth, or story, the analogue of the " Fee-fo- 
Fum " of our own childhood ; but the giant, instead of smelling the 
blood of an Englishman, in the words given in Spanish, "huele la 

The Chinese myth concerning the wonderful digestive powers of the 
" Mih " has its counterpart in the ancient belief that the same power 
was possessed by the Ostrich. 

" The Wangwana and Wanyumbo informed me . . . that if the ele- 
phant observes the excrement of the rhinoceros unscattered, he waxes 
furious, and proceeds instantly in search of the criminal, when woe 
befall him if he is sulky, and disposed to battle for the proud privilege 
of leaving his droppings as they fall. The elephant, in that case, 
breaks off a heavy branch of a tree, or uproots a stout sapling like a 
boat's mast, and belabors the unfortunate beast until he is glad to save 
himself by hurried flight. For this reason, the natives say, the rhi- 
noceros always turns round and thoroughly scatters what he has 
dropped." — (" Through the Dark Continent," Henry M. Stanley, New 
York, 1878, vol. i. p. 477.) 

" In other myths, in the Brahmanas, Prajapati creates man from his 
body, or rather the fluid of his body becomes a tortoise, the tortoise 
becomes a man, etc." — ("Myth, Ritual, and Religion," Andrew Lang. 
London, 1887, vol. ii. p. 248. See also under chapter on the Mistle- 
toe, p. 99 of this volume.) 

" Moffatt is astonished at the South African notion that the sea was 
accidentally created by a girl." ("Myth, Ritual, and Religion," 
Lang, vol. i. p. 91.) Perhaps this tale belongs to our series of myths. 

" The Encounter Bay people have another myth, which might have 
been attributed by Dean Swift to the Yahoos, so foul an origin does it 
attribute to mankind." — (Idem, Lang, vol. i. p. 170.) 

"As the mythology and traditions of other heathen nations are more 
or less immoral and obscene, so it is with these people." ("Nat. 
Trib. of S. Australia," p. 200.) "Miugarope having retired upon a 
natural occasion was highly pleased with the red color of her excre- 
ment, which she began to mould into the form of a man, and tickling 
it, it showed signs of life and began to laugh." — (Idem, p. 201.) 


TLe myth relating that differences in language sprung up after cer- 
tain of the tribes had eaten the excrement of the goddess " Wurruri " 
is given on p. 268 ; it has been recited in this volume on a previous 
page. There was another god, named Nurunduri, of whom the story 
is told that he once made water in a certain spot, " from which circum- 
stance the place is called Kainjamin (to make water.) " — (Idem, p. 

Among the Bilgula of British Columbia, there is a myth which re- 
lates that a certain stump of a tree was a cannibal and had captured a 
girl. Once, when he had gone out to fish for halibut, " he ordered his 
urinary vessel to call him if the girl should make an attempt to escape. 
When she did so, the vessel cried, 'Rota-gota, Rota-gota, gota.'" — 
(Personal letter from Dr. Franz Boas, Clark University, Worcester, 
Mass. ) 

There is a riddle among the Kamtchatkans in regard to human feces : 
" My father has numerous forms and dresses ; my mother is warm and 
thin and bears every day. Before I am born, I like cold and warmth, 
but after I am bom, only cold. In the cold I am strong, and in the 
warmth, weak ; if cold, I am seen far ; if warm, I am smelled far." — 
(Steller, translated by Bunnemeyer.) 

Among some of the Eskimo tribes the Raven is represented as talk- 
ing to its own excrement and consulting it ; excrement occurs fre- 
quently in their legends. — (Personal letter from Dr. Boas, as above.) 

From the preceding paragraph we see that the Eskimo must have 
formerly, even if they do not now, consulted excrement in their Divin- 
ation ; the extract from Gilder, given under " Mortuary Ceremonies " 
confirms this hypothesis. 

The people of Kamtchatka believed that rain was the urine of 
Billutschi, one of their gods, and of his genii ; but, after this god has 
urinated enough, he puts on a new dress made in the form of a sack, 
and provided with fringes of red seal hair, and variously colored strips 
of leather. These represent the origin of the Rainbow. 

The Kamtchatkau god Kutka was once pursued by enemies, but 
saved himself " by ejecting from his bowels all kinds of berries, which 
detained his pursuers." 

The myths of the Kamtchatkans offer a parallel to the stories that 
the presents of the devil always turned into dross. There is the story 
of the god Kutka, upon whom, as we have seen, many tricks were 
played. In one the food with which he supplied himself "turned into 
peat, rotten wood, and piss." — (Steller, translated by Bunnemeyer.) 

MYTHS. 271 

" The Central Eskimo believe that rain is the urine of a deity." — 
(" See " The Central Eskimo," Boas, p. 600.) 

"Amber (as some thinke) is made of whale's dung." — (John Leo, 
"Observ. of Africa," in Purchas, vol. ii. p. 772.) 

Ambergris was anciently supposed to be the dung of the whale or 
other monster of the sea. — (Air. W. W. Rockhill.) 

This view about the origin of amber was not credited by Avicenna. 
"Ambram non esse stercus animalis maris." — (Vol. i. p. 273, blO.) 

In the liturgy of the hill tribes of the Nilgherris, it is related — 

" Mada a urine dans le feu." 

'* Mada a fiente a la face du soleiL" 

— (Quoted in " Les Primitifs," p. 245.) 

Reclus, in the same work, gives a fragment of an Orphic song : 
" Glorieux Jupiter, le plus grand des Olympiens, toi qui te plais dans 
les crottins des brebis, qui aimes a t'enfoncer dans les fientes des chevaux 
et des mulcts." — (p. 246, quoting fi-om " Fragmenta Orphei," edited 
by Hermann.) 

" The blessed Apostle Paul, being rapt in contemplation of divine 
blissfulness, compares all the chief felicities of the earth, esteeming 
them (to use his own words) as ' stercora,' most filthy dung in regard 
of the joys he hoped for." — (Hariugton, "Ajax," p. 26.) 

" He is truly wise that accounteth all earthly things as dung that 
he may win Christ." — (Matt. xvii. 23, quoted in Thomas a Kempis, 
cap. iv., " Of the Doctrine of Truth.") 

" It was current among the small boys at school some thirty-five 
years since, that were a man to make water whilst in connection with 
a woman she would die." — (Personal letter from Prof. Frank Rede 
Fowke, South Kensington Museum, London, England.) 

The name of the city of Chicago has been traced by some philologist 
to the Indian word for skunk ; and it is said to be " equal to bestiola 
foeda mingens." The urine of this little animal was believed by some 
of the Indian tribes to be capable of blinding the man in whose eyes 
it entered ; the animal itself was deified by the Aztecs under the name 
of Tezcatlipoca. 

For the interpretation given for the word " Chicago," see the work 
" Indian Names of Places near the Great Lakes," by Captain Dwight 
Kelton, U. S. Army, Chicago, Illinois, 1888. 




nnHE examination of the urine and feces of the sick seems to have 
-*- obtained in all parts of the world, and among all sorts of people ; 
but in the earlier stages of human progress it was complicated with 
ideas of divination and forecast, which would make it a religious 

The health of a patient was shown by the condition of his urine. — 
(Pliny, lib. xxviii. cap. 6.) 

The Arabians used to bring to their doctors " the water of their sick 
in phials." — (Burton, "Arabian Nights," vol. iv. p. 11.) 

In the index to the Works of Avicenna there are two hundred and 
seventy-five references to the appearance, etc., of the urine of the sick. 
— (Translation of Avicenna made by Gerard of Cremona, edition of 
Venice, 1595.) 

"Apothecaries used to carry the water of their patients to the 
physician." — (Fosbroke, "Encyclopaedia of Antiquities," vol. i. p. 526, 
article " Urine.") 

To determine whether a man had an affection of the lungs or liver, 
some of his urine was cast upon wheat bran, which was then put aside 
in a cool place ; if worms appeared, he was afflicted, etc. — (Beckherius, 
" Med. Microcosmus," p. 62.) 

From an examination of the feces and urine of the patient to deter- 
mine his present state of health, and if possible to make a prognosis of 
his future condition, was, in the minds of ignorant or half-educated 
men merely the first step in the direction of determining the future of 
the commonwealth by an inspection of the viscera and the excrement of 
the victims whose blood smoked upon its altars. The Romans were 
addicted to this mode of divination, which Schurig incorrectly styles 
" Anthropomancy." He relates that Heliogabalus was especially fond 
of this, and, indeed, he credits that voluptuary with its introduction, 
and expresses his gratification that he met his deserts in being killed 


in a privy and left to die in ordure. The Saxons also were given to 
this method of consulting the future. — (See " Chylologia," pp. 749, 

" Uromantie. ff. (Med. et Divin.), mot forme de ** ouron," urine, et 
" manteia," divination, qui signifie I'art de diviner par le moyen des 
urines I'etat present d'nne maladie, et d'en predire les evenements 
futurs." — ("Encyc. ou Diet. Rais. des Sciences," etc., fol. Neufchatel, 
1745, vol. xvii. p. 499, given in personal letter to Captain Bourke from 
Professor Frank Rede Fowke, South Kensington Museum, London, 

" Falstaff. Sirrah, you giant, what says the doctor to my water ? 

" Page. He said, sir, the water itself was a good healthy water ; but for the 
party that owed it, he might have more diseases than he knew for." — (Shak- 
speare, " 2 King Henry IV.," L 2.) 

Sir Thomas More was possessed of great wit and a fine flow of 
spirits, which even the approach of death could not dispel. Upon 
receiving notification that he had been condemned to death by his 
master, King Henry VIII., "he called for his urinal, and having made 
water in it, he cast it and viewed it (as physicians do) a pretty while ; 
at last he sware soberly that he saw nothing in that man's water but 
that he might live if it pleased the king." — (" Ajax," p. 61.) 

Thibetan doctors examine the urine of the patient ; then churn 
it and listen to the noise made by the bubbles. — (Mr. W. "W. 


" How to vex her, 
And make her cry so much that the physician, 
If she fall sick upon it, shall want urine 
To find the same by, and she, remediless, 
Die in her heresy." 

("Scornful Lady," v. 1, Beaumont and Fletcher.) 

The people of Europe did not restrict their examinations to the 
egestse of human beings ; they were equally careful to scrutinize every 
day the droppings of the hounds, hawks, and other animals used in 
the chase. — (See " Ajax.") 

In the farce of "Master Pathelin " (a. D. 1480), the hero, "in his 
ravings abuses the doctors ... for not understanding his urine. . . . 
Charlatans especially exploited in this field of medicine, practising it 
illegally in the country under the name of 'water-jugglers ' and ' water- 
judges.' Such men still practise in Normandy and in certain northern 
provinces of France." — (" Med. in the Middle Ages," Minor, p. 82.) 



" It is a common practice in these days, by a colourable deriuation 
of supposed cunning from the vriue, to foretell casualities, and the 
ordinary euents of life, conceptions of a woman with child, and 
definite distinctions of the male and female in the womb." (Cotta, 
"Short Discovery," London, 1G12, p. 104. He goes on to say that 
even as a mode of strict medical diagnosis, urinoscopy is not a certain 
test, the body, in every disease, being more or less disordered, and this 
disorder acting upon the urine.) 

Montaigne tells the story of a gentleman who always kept for seven 
or eight days his excrements, in different basins, in order to talk about 
and show them. (Buckle, " Commonplace Book," vol. ii. p. 357, 
quoting from Montaigne's " Essais," lib. iii. cap. 9, p. 600.) 

Speaking of melancholy people. Burton says, " Their urine is most 
part pale and low-colored, 'urina pauca, acris, biliosa ' (Ai'ctseus), and 
not much in quantity. . . Their melancholy excrements, in some very 
much, in others little." — ("Anatomy of Melancholy," vol. i. p. 268.) 


Reciprocally, the influence exerted by the emotions over functional 
disturbances has been made the subject of investigation by learned 

" Aristote, dans les Problemes Physiques, s'occupe des rapports qui 
lient les impressions de I'ame aux fonctions intestinales. II recherche 
pourquoi une frayeur subite et violente cause presque toujours et incon- 
tinent la diarrhee." (Aule-Gelee, lib. xix. c. 4, " Bib. Scatalog." 
p. 66.) 

Schurig gives numbers of instances of the power of the mind over 
the act of alvine dejection ; evacuation may be caused by perturbation 
of mind, by fear, by insomnia, by thunder, by anger, etc. See " Chy- 
lologia," p. 701. In a preceding chapter Schurig narrates several 
examples of people, principally women, who were never able to excite 
nature to the act of evacuation except by artificial aids addressed to 
some faculty of the mind, — imagination, laughing, etc. 

Harington, in " Ajax," mentions the case of the Pope's Legate, 
" who brought the last jubilee into France ; who, fearing the pages 
who by custom bustle about him to divide his canopie, and suspecting 
treason among them, suddenly laid you wot of in his breeches" (p. 16). 

Dr. Fletcher, United States Army, has devoted considerable atten- 
tion to this subject. He has kindly placed the results of his wide 
range of reading at the disposal of the author of this volume. 


" The more you cry, the less you piss," — a vulgar saying of consid- 
erable antiquity. This saying is founded upon a correct physiological 
observation; an excess of one secretion results in a proportionate 
diminution of others. 

The great Greek scholar, Porson, indulged his wit by transliterating 
into Hellenic cTiaracters the above homely saw, and thereby mystified 
the learned pundits who were called upon to read it.^ 

" If love demands weeping, oh, why should I spare 
Those floods which, of course, must be lavished elsewhere ? " 

"And midst their bawling and their hissing, 

They cried, to keep themselves from p g. 

Finding their water would come out. 
They thought it best, without dispute, 
Eather than wet both breeks and thighs, 
To let it bubble through their eyes." 

(Homer Burlesqued, book xii.) 

"I must call, from between thy thighs, 
The urine back into thine eyes, 
And make thee, when my tale thou hearest, 
Channel thy cheeks with launt reversed. " 

(Musarum Delicise, i. p. 110.) 

"Launt" is an obsolete word, meaning urine. See Cotgrave's 


" What if she whine, shed tears, and frown ? 
Laugh at her folly, she '11 have done ; 
Never dry up her tears with kisses. 

The more she cries, the less she p s." 

(Reflections, Moral, Critical, and Cosmical, part ill. p. 23, A. d. 1707.) 

This expression is to be found also in old French, — perhaps is de- 
rived from it : " Pleurez done, et chiez bien des yeux, vous en pissez 
moins." — ("Moyen de Parvenir," a. d. 1610.) 

" Juletta, how loath she was to talk, too, how she feared me ! 
I could now piss mine eyes out for mere anger. " 

(" The Pilgiim," iii. 4, Beaumont and Fletcher.) 

The converse of the adage is illustrated in the following epigram on 
a lady who shed her water at seeing the tragedy of " Cato : " 

^ Eloise seems here to allude to the well-known Greek inscription on an ancient 
marble, still to be seen in the Medicean gardens: "Otfiwp (i\p\ OAts ewis." 
Above it is an elegant figure in alto-relievo, supposed to be the representation of 
the melting Niobe, — Eloise, en (MshabilU. 


" Whilst maudlin chiefs deplore their Cato's fate, 

Still, with dry eyes, the Tory Celia sate ; 

But, though her pride forbade her eyes to flow, 

The gushing watei's fouud a vent below. 

Tho 'n secret, yet with copious streams she mourns. 

Like twenty river-gods, with all their urns. 

Let others screw on hypocritic face, 

She shows her grief in a siucerer place ; 

Here Nature reigns, and passion, void of art. 

For this road leads directly to the heart." 

(Nick Rowe.) 
' But Sandwich, though with vast surimse, 

He saw the monarch's weeping eyes. 

Told him it would not be amiss, — 

The more he cryed, the less he pissed." 
(From " The New Foundling Hospital of Wit," vol. Iv. p. 204.) 

" * Boh,' said to be the name of a Danish general, who so terrified 
his opponent, Foh, that he caused him to bewray himself." — (Grose, 
Diet, of Buckish Slang, art. " Boh." See, also, iu same volume, the 
account of the Puritan preacher who met with the same accident in 
his pulpit upon hearing that the royal troops were approaching, — 
art. " Sh— t Sack.") 




'T^HE administration of urine as a curative opens the door to a flood 
-*- of thought. Medicine, both in theoiy and practice, even among 
nations of the highest development and refinement, has not, until 
within the present century, cleared its skirts of the superstitious hand- 
prints of the dark ages. With tribes of a lower degree of culture it 
is still subordinate to the incantations and exorcisms of the '* medicine 
man." It might not be going a step too far to assert that the science 
of therapeutics, pure and simple, has not yet taken form among sav- 
ages ; but to shorten discussion and avoid controversy, it will be as- 
sumed here that such a science does exist, but in an extremely rude 
and embryotic state ; and to this can be referred all examples of the 
introduction of urine or ordure in the materia medica, where the aid 
of the " medicine man " does not seem to have been invoked, as in 
the method employed for the eradication of dandruff by Mexicans, 
Eskimo, and others, the Celtiberian dentifrice, etc.^ 

When the compilation and correlation of data bearing upon this sub- 
ject was first begun, the exceeding importance of the pharmaceutical 
division was manifest. In the opinion of the author, this part of the 
investigation should have been assumed by a student possessed of a pre- 
liminary training in medicine, and it was not until urged on by friendly 
correspondents that he concluded, upon resuming his labors, to aug- 
ment these references by citations from the more prominent writers 
of ancient and modern times, who have demonstrated the importance 
of the subject by devoting to its consideration not passing sentences 
and scant allusions, but pregnant chapters and bulky volumes. 

1 "We have in the folk-medicine, which still exists, the unwiitten record of 
the beginning of the practice of medicine and surgery. . . . The early history of 
medical science, as of all other developments of culture, can be studied more nar- 
rowly and more accurately in the folk-lore of this and other countries than some 
students of modern science and exact modem records may think possible." — 
("Folk-Medicine," "William George Black, London, 1883, pp. 2, 3.J 


By great good fortune he was enabled co make the fullest use of 
the library of the Army Medical Museum, which, under the super- 
vision of Surgeon John S. Billings, United States Army, has become 
the finest special bibliotheque in the world. 

From Surgeon Billings, and his able assistants, Doctors Fletcher 
and Wise, were received, besides the courteous attentions which every 
student has the right to expect, an intelligent and sympathetic co- 
operation which cannot be too gratefully acknowledged. 

In such an embarrassment of riches as now confronted him, he 
exercised the right of drawing only iipon the authorities which would 
appeal to all critics as most entitled to prominence ; to have followed 
any other course, and to have attempted to engraft all available mate- 
rial, would have swollen this chapter to hundreds, perhaps thousands 
of pages. 

" Sprengel pense que Asclepiade, sumomme Pharmacion, est le pre- 
mier qui ait conseille les excrements humains; mais 11 est probable 
qu'il ne fit qu'eriger en preceptes ecrits un usage deja consacre en 
Orient, particulierement en Egypte." — (" Bib. Scat.," pp. 29, 30.) 

The earliest writer whose works have been consulted was Hip- 
pocrates, termed the " Father of Medicine," born 460 b. c. " He was a 
member of the family of the AsclepiadEe, . . . and a descendant of both 
Escnlapius and Hercules. He was born of a family of priest-pliysicians, 
and was the first to throw superstition aside, and to base the practice 
of medicine on the principles of inductive philosophy." — ( " Encyclo- 
paedia Britannica." 

Galen wrote a series of commentaries upon his writings. Medical 
commentators are not in accord as to how many of the works at- 
tributed to him are genuine ; but the editions of the accepted and the 
suspected to be spurious are almost innumerable, and pi-inted in every 
language of Europe. 

In the edition by Francis Adams (Sydenham Society, London, 1849), 
there is no mention of the use of human or animal excreta in pharmacy. 
But in another edition can be read that ass's dung was given to re- 
strain excessive catamenial flow. — (Kuhn's edition, Leipsig, 1829, 
vol. i. p. 481.) 

EtmuUer says that Hippocrates prescribed hawk-dung to aid in the 
expulsion of the fostns and as a remedy for sterility (vol. ii. p. 285). 
The general use of excrementitious material in the medical practice of 
Hippocrates' own day must be accepted from evidence deduced from 
outside sources. For example, Aristophanes, who was his contemporary 


(born 446 B. c, Encyc. Britan.), stigmatized all the medical fraternity 
as " excrement-eaters ; " and Xeuocrates, another practitioner of the 
same date, of whose writings, however, nothing has come down to us 
beyond the meagre outline to be found in the commentaries of Galen, 
made constant employment not only of human and animal excreta, but 
of all the secretions and excretions as well. According to Appleton'a 
Encyclopsedia, Xenocrates was born 396 b. c. 

Schnrig relates of Aristophanes that he called doctors " fecivores 
. . . quod quidem adulatores fuerint quin excrementa Magnoruni de- 
gustare voluerint." He also says : " Quare de illo non inepte dixit 
quidam, eura dignum fuisse Xenocrates Medico, qui excrementis variis 
animaliura omnes morbos curare solitus erat." — (" Chylologia," 
p. 82.) 

" Xenocrates, who flourished sixty years before Galen, had also a 
good list of nasty prescriptions, for which the veil of a dead language 
is required." (Saxon Leechdoms," lib. i. p. xviii.) These included 
the urine of women and their cataraenia. 

Aristophanes called the physicians of his time o-KaTo<^ayovs, or excre- 
ment-eaters. "Ce qui etait plus malin que vrai, car les comperes en 
faisaient manger k leurs clients plus qu'ils n'en mangeaient eux-memes." 
— (" Bibliotheca Scatalogica.") 

Human excrements, under the name of "botryon," were used by 
./Eschines of Athens, for the cure of quinsy. (Pliny, lib. xxviii. c. 10.) 
iEschines lived between 389-317 B.C. 

"Serapion of Alexandria flourished B. c. 278, forty years after the 
date of Alexander the Great, and was one of the chiefs of the empiric 
school. . . . He in epilepsy prescribed . . . dung of crocodiles." — 
("Saxon Leechdoms," vol. i. p. xiv.) 

The next in chronological order would be Pliny, from whom can be 
extracted a veritable mine of information on this point ; then Diosco- 
rides, who lived in the latter years of the first and the opening ones of 
the second centuries of the Christian era ; and then Galen, born at 
Pergamos, in Mysia, 130 a.d., "the most celebrated of ancient medi- 
cal writers," and "appointed by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius to the 
position of medical guardian of his son, the young prince, and later on 
Emperor, Commodus." — (Encyc. Brit.) 

The classical authorities will conclude with Sextus Placitus, from 
whose works much of importance has been extracted. 

Each author will be allowed to speak in his own words, and the 
necessary deductions will be made afterwards ; only the remarks bear- 


ing upon love-philters and child-birth have been assigned to the chap- 
ters devoted to the treatment of those subjects, and this merely to 
reduce the chances of repetition. 

The following remedies are taken from Pliny, from the books and 
chapters given opposite each case : — 

" A plant that has been grown upon a dung-heap in a field is a very 
efficacious remedy, taken in water, for quinsy." — (Lib. xxiv. c. 110.) 

"A plant upon which a dog has watered, torn np by the roots, and 
not touched with iron, is a very speedy cure for sprains." — (Idem, 
c. 111.) 

" Camel's dung, reduced into ashes, and incorporat with oile, doth 
curie and frizzle the hair of the head, and taken in drinke, as much as 
a man may comprehend with three fingers, cureth the dyseuterie ; so 
doth it also the falling sickness. Camel's piss, they say, is passing 
good for Fullers to scour their cloth withall ; and the same healeth 
any running sores which be bathed therein. It is well known that the 
barbarous nations keep this stale of theirs until it be five yeai-s old, 
and then a draught thereof to the quantity of one hermiue is a good 
laxative potion." — (Lib. xxviii. c. 8.) 

Goat's dung good for sore eyes. — (Idem, c. 11.) 

For " Skals in the Head " the Romans used <' Bui's Urine." Stale 
chamber-lye was also considered good. " The gall of buck goats, tem- 
pered with Bui's stale, killeth lice." Dog-dung and goat-dung also 
were prescribed. — (Idem, c. 11.) 

Wolfs dung is mentioned as good for cataract. — (Idem, c. 11.) 

Hen's dung, the white part, prescribed for the cure of poisonous 
mushrooms ; also to cure flatulence (but in any living creature it causes 
flatulence, says Pliny). Ashes of horse-dung fresh made and burned, 
the urine of a wild boar, the green dung of an ass, are among the 
medicaments mentioned for ear-ache (idem, c. 11) ; also " Urine of a 
Bui or a Goat, or stale chamber lye made hotte ; " also " Calfe's Pisse, 
Calfe's dung." Goat and horse dung were employed to drive away 
snakes. — (Idem, c. 110.) 

Human urine used in curing the bites of mad dogs. — (Idem, 
c. 18.) 

Pliny notices that the Greeks used the scrapings of the bodies of 
athletes for emmenagogues, for uterine troubles, for sprains, muscular 
rheumatism, etc. " We find authors of the very highest repute pro- 
claiming aloud that the seminal fluid is a sovereign remedy for the 
sting of the scorpion. In the case, too, of a woman afflicted with ster- 


ility they recommend the application of a pessary made of the fresh 
excrement voided by an infant at the moment of its birth. . . . They 
have even gone so far, too, as to scrape the very filth from oflf the 
walls of the gymnasia, and to assert that this is possessed of certain 
calorific properties. . . . The ux'ine has been the subject not only of 
numerous theories with authors, but of various religious observances 
as well, its properties being classified under several distinctive heads ; 
thus, for instance, the urine of eunuchs, they say, is highly beneficial as 
a promoter of fruitfulness in females." He mentions the urine of children 
as a sovereign remedy for the poisonous secretion of the asp, which " spits 
its venom into the eyes of human beings." Human urine was used in 
eye troubles, " albugo, films, and marks upon the eyes, white specks 
upon the pupils, and maladies of the eyelids." It was also used in the 
cure of burns, suppuration of the ears, as an emmenagogue, for sun-burn, 
and for taking out ink-spots. " Male urine cured Gout." Urine cured 
" eruptions on the bodies of infants, corrosive sores, running ulcers, 
chaps upon the body, stings inflicted by serpents, ulcers of the head, 
and cancerous sores of the generative organs. . . . Every person's 
urine is the best for his own case." — (Lib. xxviii. c. 18.) 

The ashes of camel's dung were administered internally in epilepsy, 
and also for dysentery. — (Idem, c. 27.) 

Camel's urine applied to running sores ; barbarous nations kept it 
for five years, and then used it as a purgative. — (Idem.) 

The dung of the hippopotamus was used in fumigations, " for the 
cure of a cold ague." — (Idem, c. 31.) 

The urine of the once (ounce) " helpeth the strangury ; " it was also 
taken internally for sore throat. — (Idem.) 

Hyena-urine " is said to be useful in diseases of long standing " 
(idem, c. 27) ; also given in drink for dysentery ; also applied in lini- 
ments. — (Idem.) 

Crocodile-dung used for eye troubles and for epilepsy ; used in form 
of a pessary, as an emmenagogue. — (Lib. xxviii. c. 29.) 

Lynx-urine for strangury and pains in the chest. — (Idem, c. 32.) 

Goat-urine an antidote for bites of serpents. — (Idem, c. 42.) 

Goat-dung an antidote for bites of serpents. — (Idem.) 

Horse-dung, taken from a horse on pasture, an antidote for the bites 
of serpents. — (Idem.) 

Goat-dung for scorpion bites. — (Idem.) 

Calves' dung for scorpion bites. — (Llem.) 

She-goat's dung, bite of mad dog. — (Idem.) 


Badger-dung, cuckoo-dung, swallow-dung, taken internally, bite of 
mad dog. — (Idem.) 

Bull-dung, dandruff, applied locally. — (Idem, c. 46.) 

Goat's dung, dandruff. — (Idem.) 

Wolf-dung for cataract. — (Idem, c. 47.) 

She-goat's dung for ophthalmia and eye-troubles generally ; inter- 
nally. — (Idem.) 

Wild-boar urine, ear-troubles. — (Idem, c. 48.) 

Ass-dung, deafness. — (Idem.) 

Horse-dung, deafness ; also used in liniments. — (Idem.) 

Bull's urine, deafness. — (Idem.) 

She-goat's urine, deafness. — (Idem.) 

Calf-dung, deafness. — (Idem.) 

Calf-urine, deafness. — (Idem.) 

Asses' urine, internally, in elephantiasis. — (Lib. xxviii. c. 30.) 

Cat-dung, rubbed on the neck, to remove bones from the throat. — 
(Idem, c. 51.) 

Warm urine, cow-dung, and goat-dung applied to scrofulous sores. 
— (Idem.) 

Goat urine and dung for cricks In neck. — (Idem, c. 52.) 

Hare-dung, internally, for cough. — (Idem, c. 53.) 

Boar's dung, swine's dung, internally, pains in loins. — (Idem, 
c. 56.) 

Cow-dung, externally, sciatica. — (Idem, c. 56.) 

Asses' dung, internally, affections of spleen. — (Idem, c. 57.) 

Horse-dung, internally, bowel complaints. — (Idem, c. 58.) 

Boar's or swine's dung, internally, dysentery. — (Idem, c. 59.) 

Hare, ass, horse, or goat dung, internally, dysentery. — (Idem.) 

Calf-dung, internally, flatulence. — (Idem.) 

Hare-dung, internally, hernia. — (Idem.) 

Ass-dung, internally, diseases of colon. — (Idem.) 

Swine-dung, internally, diseases of colon. — (Idem.) 

Wild-boar's urine, internally, diseases of bladder ; also used internally 
in treatment of urinary calculi. — (Idem, c. 60.) 

Goat-dung, internally, urinary calculi. — (Idem.) 

Goat-dung, extenially, ulcers upon the generative organs. — (Idem.) 

Wild-asses' urine, diseases of the genitalia, externallj'. — (Idem, 
c. 61.) 

Goat-urine, diseases of the genitalia, externally. — (Idem.) 


Goat-dung, diseases of the genitalia, externally ; also, internally, for 
gout. — (Idem.) 

Cow-dung, internally, gout. — (Idem.) 
Calf-dung, internally, gout. — (Idem.) 
Goat-dung, sciatica, externally. — (Idem.) 

Wild-boar's dung, swine's dung, chaps, corns, callosities. — (Idem, 
c. 62.) 

Asses' urine, applied to feet galled by travel. — (Idem.) 
Calf-dung, burnt, applied to varicose veins. — (Idem.) 
Wild-boar's urine, drunk, for epilepsy. — (Idem, c. 63.) 
Horse's urine, drunk, for epilepsy ; also for delirium. — (Idem.) 
Asses' urine, externally, in paralysis. — (Idem.) 
Dung of a new-born ass, internally, yellow jaundice. — (Idem, c. 64.) 
Dung of a colt, internally, yellow jaundice. — (Idem.) 
Goat-dung, externally, for broken bones. — (Idem, c. 65.) 
Cow-dung, burnt, diluted with boys' urine, was rubbed on the toes 
of the patient in quartan fevers. — (Idem, c. 66.) 

Calf-dung, internally, in melancholia. — (Idem, c. 67.) 
Swine's dung, internally, consumption. — (Idem.) 
Wild-boar's urine, internally, dropsy. — (Idem, c. 68.) 
Cow-iarine, internally, dropsy. — (Idem.) 
Calf-urine, internally, dropsy. — (Idem.) 
Bull-urine, internally, dropsy.^ — (Idem.) 

Calf-dung, cow-dung, swine's dung, asses' dung, all applied exter- 
nally for the cure of erysipelas and purulent eruptions. — (Idem, 
0. 69.) 

Wild-boar's dung, swine's dung, calf-dung, goat-dung, cow-dung, ex- 
ternally, for sprains, indurations, and boils. — (Idem, c. 70.) 

Wild-boar's dung, swine's dung, hare-dung, goat-dung, externally, 
burns of all kinds. — (Idem, c. 71.) 

Goat-dung, wild-boar's dung, externally, contusions, bruises, etc. — 
(Idem, c. 72.) 

The Emperor Nero, being of scrofulous tendency, drank the ashes of 
wild-boar dung in water, to refresh himself. — (Idem.) 

Asses' dung, burnt, externally, hemorrhages. — (Idem, c. 73.) 
Calf s dung, burnt, externally, hemorrhages. — (Idem.) 
Swine's dung, externally, to ulcers. — (Idem, c. 74.) 
Goat-dung, externally, to ulcers. — (Idem.) 
Swine's dung, fresh, externally, to wounds. — (Idem.) 

* Bull-urine was given to men, cow-urine to women. 


Horse's dung, cow-dung, fresh, externally, to wounds. — (Idem.) 

Asses' dung, externally, itch. — (Idem, c. 75.) 

Cow-dung, externally, itch. — (Idem.) 

Cow-dung, she-goat's dung, applied externally to extract thorns. — 
(Llem, c. 76.) 

Wild-boar's dung, or swine's dung, internally, in inflammation of 
the uterus. — (Idem, c. 77.) 

Asses' dung, in plaster or powder, or as a fumigation, for all uterine 
troubles. — (Idem.) 

Ox-dung as a fumigation, for falling of the womb. — (Idem, lib. 
xxviii. c. 77.) 

Cat's dung, as a pessary, for uterine ulcerations. — (Idem.) 

"She-goat's urine, taken internally, and the dung applied topically, 
will arrest uteriue discharges, however much in excess." — (Idem.) 

Swine's dung, as an injection, used to cure beasts of burden of void- 
ing blood. — (Idem, c. 81.) 

" The oxen in the Isle of Cyprus cure themselves of gripings in the 
abdomen, it is said, by swallowing human excrement." — (Idem.) 

Dung of mice and the ashes of sheep-dung prescribed for dandruff". 
The dung of a peacock stated to be of great value in medicine, but for 
■what not stated. — (Idem, c. 6.) 

Sheep-dung, externally, in serpent bites. — (Idem, c. 15.) 

" A most efficient remedy for wounds inflicted by the asp," was for 
"the person stung to drink his own urine." — (Idem, c. 18.) 

" For the bite of all spiders . . . sheep's-dung, applied in vinegar." 
— (Idem, c. 27.) 

Poultry-dung, good as an application for the sting of the scorpion. — 
(Idem, c. 29.) 

" The dung of poultry, provided it is of a red color, is very useful, 
applied with vinegar." Also for bite of a mad dog. — (Idem, c. 32.) 

The urine of a mad dog was believed to be injurious to those people 
who trod upon it, especially those persons with scrofulous sores. — 

" The proper remedy in such cases is to apply horse-dung." — 

" Whoever makes water where a dog has previously watered, will be 
susceptible of numbness in the loins." — (Idem, c. 32.) 

" Poultry-dimg, but the white part only, ... is an excellent anti- 
dote to the poison of fungi and mushrooms ; it is a cure also for 
flatulence and suffocations, — a thing the more to be wondered at, see- 


ing that if any living creature only tastes this dung, it is immediately 
attacked with griping pains and flatulency." — (Idem, c. 33.) 

"The dung of wood pigeons ... an antidote to quiclisilver." — 

Sheep-dung, mouse-dung, poultry-dung, applied externally in the 
treatment of baldness or "alopa'cia," so called from "alopex,"a fox, 
"an animal very subject to the loss of its hair." — (Idem, c. 34.) 

Mouse-dung, externally, "affections of the eyelids." — (Idem, c. 37.) 

Poultry-dung as a liniment for short-sighted persons. — (Idem, 
c. 38.) 

" Peacocks swallow their dung, it is said, as though they envied man 
the various uses of it." — (Idem.) 

Pigeon's dung, externally, fistula. — (Idem.) 

Hawk-dung, turtle-dove dung, externally, "albugo." — (Idem.) 

Pigeon's dung, extei'nally, imposthumes of the parotid gland. — 
(Lib. 29, 39.) 

Mouse-dung, raven's dung, sparrow-dung. The ashes of these were 
plugged into carious teeth, and used externally for all tooth troubles. 
— (Lib. 30, c. 8.) 

Mouse-dung, good to impart sweetness to sour breath (idem, c. 9) ; 
also prescribed for the stone. — (Idem, c. 8.) 

"The dung of lambs before they have begun to graze . . . alle- 
viated . . . affections of the uvula and pains in the fauces. It should 
be dried in the shade." — (Idem, c. 11.) 

Pigeon's dung used as a gargle for sore throat (idem) ; used inter- 
nally for quinsy (idem, c. 12) ; internally for dysentery (idem, c. 19) ; 
and externally for the cure of "iliac passion," — (Idem, c. 20.) 

Mouse-dung, rubbed on the abdomen, was considered to be a cure 
for urinary calculi. — (Idem, c. 21.) 

The flesh of a hedge-hog, killed before it had time to discharge its 
urine upon its body, was a cure for strangury ; but, it would cause 
strangury if able to urinate upon itself before death. — (Idem, c. 21.) 

Dove-dung, internally, for urinary calculi. — (Idem.) 

Swallow-dung, as a suppository and purgative. — (Idem.) 

Dog-dung, externally, fissure in ano. — (Idem, c. 22.) 

Mouse-dung. — (Idem.) 

Pigeon's dung, externally, in fissure in ano. — (Idem.) 

Mouse-dung and pigeon's-dung, externally, for tumors. — (Idem.) 

Sheep and poultry dung, externally, in gout. — (Idem.) 

Ring-dove-dung, liniment for pains in the joints. — (Idem, c. 23.) 


The ashes of pigeon's or of poultry dung, externally, for excoriations 
of the feet.— (Idem, c. 25.) 

!Mule-uriiie, sheep and poultry dung, externally, for corns on feet. — 

Dog-urine, sheep and poultry dung, externally, for warts of all kinds. 

— (Idem.) 

Swallow-dung, internally, cure of fevers. — (Idem, c. 30.) 

Pigeon's, poultry, and sheep dung, externally, boils and carbuncles. 

— (Idem, caps. 33, 34.) 

Sheep-dung, externally, burns. — (Idem, c. 35.) 
Pigeon's dung, snufF made of for brain hemorrhage. — (Idem, c. 38.) 
Hoise-dung, externally, hemorrhages from wounds. — (Idem.) 
Sheep-dung, ashes of, externally, carcinoma. — (Idem, c. 39.) 
Sheep-dung, externally, wounds and fistulas. — (Idem.) 
Mouse-dung, cautery. — (Idem.) 
Weasel's dung, ashes of, cautery. — (Idem.) 
Pigeou's-dung, ashes of, cautery. — (Idem.) 

Poultry-dung and pigeon's dung, externally, old cicatrices. — (Idem, 
c. 40.) 

Sheep's dung, externally, female complaints. — (Idem, c. 43.) 
Mouse-dung, externally, swelled breasts. — (Idem.) 


Dioscorides devotes a chapter to the medicinal values of different 
ordures ; a condensation only of the translation need be given, since 
the original is inserted. 

The fresh dung of domestic cattle was considered good for inflamed 
wounds ; for pains at extremity of spine ; and, when made into a plas- 
ter with oil, it dissolved glandular and scrofulous swellings and tumors. 
The dung of bulls was a remedy for falling of the womb ; when drunk 
with wine, was frequently given as a remedy in epilepsy ; used also in 
the cure of suppressed menstruation and to expel the fcetus in retarded 
delivery; administered in menstrual hemorrhages; for the alleviation 
of gout in the feet, serpent bites, erysipelas, etc. Goat and sheep 
dung was used for the same purposes. 

Dried goat-dung, drunk in wine, checked hemorrhages, as did that 
of asses and horses. The dung of grass-fed kine taken in wine for 
scorpion bites. 

Dove and poultry dung given to break up the old sores and scrofu- 
lous swellings. 


Hen-dung believed to be almost a specific against the effects of 
poisonous mushrooms ; it was to be drunk in wine. 

Stork-dung was another remedy for epilepsy ; it was also to be drunk 
in wine. 

Vulture-dung expelled the foetus ; mouse-dung expelled calculi. 

Hen-dung, especially that laid during the dog-days, was good for 

Fresh human ordure was applied to inflamed wounds, and as a plas- 
ter in angina ; dog-dung was also used in such cases. 

Crocodile-excrement was in high repute as a cosmetic. (See " Cos- 
metics.") Purchasers were warned that it was frequently adulterated 
with the excrement of starlings fed on rice. 

The urine of the patient himself should be drunk in cases of serpent 
bites, poisons from drugs, bites of scorpions, mad dogs, etc. For old 
ulcers, cicatrices, " lepras," an excellent application ; also for ulcerations 
in the genitalia, sores in the ears, etc. 

The urine of an undefiled boy was highly commended for various 
purposes, especially when triturated with honey in a brass mortar. 

The " sediment of urine " (see " Maugeurs de Blanc ") was regarded 
as of great value in erysipelas. Bull's urine was given for the cure of 
ulcerated ears. 

Goat urine expelled stone from the bladder ; likewise, beneficial in 
dropsy, if drunk daily. 

Asses' urine cured mania. 

" Dioscoride, lib. ii. cap. 73, et ses coramentateurs, P. Andr. Mathicle, 
fol. 238, et J. Cornarius, comment, cap. 69, fol. m. 134, permettent 
I'usage des stercoraria pour les paysans, et quand on n'a rien de mieux 
sous la main, mais ils I'interdisent pour les habitants des villes et les 
personnages honorati alicujus estimationis. Outre sou grand ouvrage, 
de maitre medical on attribue generalement a Dioscoride un traits 
design^ sous le titre de Euporista, ou des remedes fs^ciles a procurer." 
(This was published at Strasbourg and again at Frankfort in 1565 and 
1598, respectively, from the original Greek.) " Dans I'Euporista, 
Dioscoride cherche a etablir que les remedes indigenes valent souvent 
mieux que ceux qu'on fait veuir a grands frais des pays ^loignes, et, k 
ce titre, il mentionne le stercus comme offraut de curieuses ressources." 
— (" Bib. Scatalogica," p. 74.) 

" Stercus bovis armentalis recens impositum, inflaramationem ex 
vulneribus lenit ; foliis autem involutum in cineris calentis calefit, 
atque ita imponuntur. Simili modo fotu applicitum coxendicis cruci- 


atus mitigat. Ex aceto vero cataplasmatis vice impositum duritias, 
strumas et glaudarum tumores discutit. Speciatim vero bovis mas- 
culi fituus prolapsum uterum suffitu restituit, acceusi quoque nidore 
culices abiguntur. Cuprarum prsesertim in montibus degentium, 
stercus ex vino bibitum regium morbum emendat, cum aromatibus 
vero potum menses ciet et foetus ejiciet. 

" Siccum, tritumque et cum turre in vellerse appositum, fluxura muli- 
ebrem cohibet aliasque sanguinis eruptiones ex aceto compescit, Ustuin 
ac cum aceto aut oxymelite illitum calvitiei medetur. Cum axungia 
vero cataplasmata adhibitum podagracis opitulatur. Decoctum in 
aceto, aut vino imponitur ad serpentise morsum, herpetas, erysipelata, 
parotides. Quiu et ischiadicis ustis eorum ope administratur utiliter 
hunc in modum; in eo cavo, quod est inter poUicera et indicem qua 
parte pollex committitur, lan9 oleo imbuta prius substernitur, ac dein 
siugulatim imponuntur fimi caprini fei'ventes pilulos, donee sensus per 
brachium ad coxendicem perveniat doloremque mitiget atque adustis 
talis arabica appellatur. 

" At vero stercus ovillum ex aceto impositum sanat epinyctidas, cla- 
vos, verrucas, quse thymi vocantur, et quae pensiles sunt . . . Apri- 
num autem aridum in aqua aut vino potum, sanguinis rejectionem 
sistit ac diuturnum sedat lateris dolorem. Sed ad rapta convulsaque, 
ex aceto bibitur ; luxatis vero exceptum curato rosaceo medetur. 
Porro tam asinorum quam equorum firaum, sive crudum sive crema- 
tum, addito aceto, sanguinis eruptiones cobibet. Armentinorum vero, 
qui herba pascuntur, siccum stercus vino imbutum et bibitum a scor- 
pione ictis magnopere auxiliatur. 

" Columbinum quoniam vehementer calefacit ac urit, farinse crudse 
admiscetur, et ex aceto quidem strumas discutit. Carbunculos vero 
emarginat cum melle, lini semince, et oleo tritum, nee non ambustis 
quoque medetur. Gallinaceum eadem, sed malignis, praestat. Speci- 
atim tamen contra letales fongos et colicos dolores confert, si ex aceto 
aut vino bibatur. Ciconae vero fimium ex aqua potum comitialibus 
prodesse creditur. Vulturis suffumigatum foetum excutere traditur. 
Murium cum aceto tritum illitumque calvitiei medetur, cum turre 
vero et mulso potum calculos expellit. Sed et subditse infantibus 
muscerdse alvum ad dejectionem lacessunt. Caninum stercus, quod 
per caniculse ardores exceptum fuerit, aridum cum vino aut aqua po- 
tum, alvum cohibet. Ad humanum recens cataplasmatis vice imposi- 
tum vulnera ab inflamraatione vindicat, simul vero glutinat. Siccum 
autem cum melle perunctum anginosos auxiliari traditur. 


" Stercus cvocodilis terrestris mulieribus confert ad colorem facei 
nitorenique producendum. 

" Optimum vero quod candidissimum et friabile amyli modo leve in 
humore statira eliquiescit, atque dum teritur, subacidum est et fer- 
mentum redolet. Sunt qui id vendant adulterant fimo non dissimili 
sturnorum quos oryza paverunt. Alii amylum aut cimoliam subigunt, 
et adescito, colore, per rarum cribrum, paullatim percolant et siccant, 
ut vermiculorum specie loco genuini vendant. Ceterum humanum 
stercus siccum melle subactum, et gutturi impositum sicut et cani- 
num, anginosis opitulari in arcanis, aut turpibus etiara inveniunt." — 
(Dioscorides, "Materia Medica," Latin-Greek edit, of Kuhn, Leipsig, 
1829, vol. i., pp. 222 et seq.) 

" Humanam urinam suum cuique bibere prodest contra viperae 
morsus et letalia pharmaca, hydropemque incipientem ; prodest etiam 
ea fovere echinoriim marinorum scorpionis itidem marini draconisque 
ictus. Canina rabidi canis morsibus perfundendis idonea est ; lepras 
quoque et pruritus, nitre addito, exterit. Vetus etiam achoras, fur- 
fures, scabiem, fervidasque eruptiones potentius extergit, quin et 
ulcera depascentia, etiam genitalium coarcet. Purulentis quoque 
auribus infusa pus condensat, et in malicordio cocta animalcula (quae 
forte in aures irrepsirent) ejicit. Pueri innocentis absorta urina an- 
helantibus confert, cocta vero in aereo vaso cum melle cicatrices albu- 
gines et caligines emendat. 

" Quin etiam ex ea et aere cyprio idoneum auro ferruminando glutea 
paratur. Sediraentum urinse erysipelata illita mitigat. Fen^efactum 
cum cyprino appositumque uteri dolorem deniulcet ex utero, strangu- 
lata levat, palpebraa deterget et oculorum cicatrices expurgat. Tauri- 
num lotium cum myrrha tritum et instillatum dolores aurium lenit. 

" Aprinum iisdem viribus praeditum est sed peculiariter vesicae cal- 
culos potu comminuit et expellit. Caprinum traditur ad hydropem 
inter cutem cum spica nardi binisque aquae cyathis quotidie bibiti 
urinas ducere et alvum instillatum, vero aurium doloribus mederi. 
Asinino denique ferunt nephreticos sanari." — (Dioscorides, idem, vol. i. 
pp. 227 et seq.) 

On p. 228 Dioscorides speaks of the use of a medicine known as 
"lynx urine," but wbich he says was a variety of amber. 


Galen disapproved of the pharmaceutical use of human ordure on 
account of its abominable smell, but he assented to the employment 



of that of domestic cattle, goats, crocodiles, and dogs ; he makes 
known, moreover, that human ordure was taken internally, as a med- 
cine, by very many persons. 

" De Copro, Stercore, Copros, sive Copron, sive Apoptema, apellari 
velis perinde est. Scito autem hauc substantiam vim habere vel max- 
ime digerentem. Verum stercus humauum ob foetorem abominandum 
est, at bnbulum, caprinum, crocodilorum terrestrium, et canum, ubi in 
ossibus duntaxat vescuntur neque graviter olet, et raulta experientia 
non tantum nobis, sed et aliis medicis me natu majoribus comprobatum 
est. Siquidem Asclepiades cui cognomentum erat Pharmaceon, et alia 
omnia medicamenta collegit, ut multos impleret libros, et stercore ad 
multos SEepe affectus utitur non modo medicamentis, quse focis impo- 
nuntur commiscens, sed iis quoque quae intro in os sumuntur." — 
(Galeni Claudii, "Opera Omnia," edit, of Dr. Carl Gottleib Kuhn, 
Leipsig, 1826, vol. xii., pp. 290, 291.) 

Dog-dung, especially of an animal "sola ossa cani edenda exhibens 
duobus coutinuo diebus, ex quibus durum, candidum, ac minime foeto- 
rum stercus proveniebat." Such dog-dung was administered in angina, 
dysentery, inveterate ulcers, etc., in milk or other convenient men- 
struum." — (Idem, vol. xii. p. 291.) 

The urine of boys was drunk by patients suffering from the plague 
in Syria, but the year is not given. — (See idem, vol. xii. p. 285.) 

Galen did not believe that calculi had the slightest value for effecting 
a reduction of calculi. — (Idem, lib. xii. p. 290.) 

Galen could not bring himself to agree with Xenocrates, who recom- 
mended the internal and external employment of sweat, urine, cata- 
menial fluid, and ear-wax in medicine. (Idem, lib. xii. p. 249.) "At 
potis sudoris aut urince aut mensium mulieris abominanda detestanda- 
que est, atque horum in prirais stercus, quod taraen scribit Xenocrates, 
si oris ac gutturis partibus inungatur et in ventrem devoretur, quid 
prsestare valeat. — Scripsit etiam de aurium sordis devorandis. At ego 
ne has quidem morbo deinceps liber degerem. Atque his etiam magis 
abominandum puto stercus. Estque probrum gravius homini modcsto 
audire stercorivorum quam fellatorum aut cinsedum. 

He shows that it was used by some physicians in "psoras," and in 
" lepras," in the washing of ulcers, affections of the ears and genitalia, 
as an embrocation and a liniment for scald and scabby head, and by 
rustics in the alleviation of the pains of sore feet. (Galen, lib. xii. 
p. 285 et seq.) 

Galen instances the ordure of a boy, dried, mixed with Attic honey, 


given as a cure for consumption. " Stercus pueri siccum cum melle 
Attico ad laevorem tritum." (Idem, lib. xii. p. 21)4.) The boy was 
to be fed on vegetables and well-cooked bread, leavened, made with a 
littlo salt, in a small oven (Clibanus, Dutch oven?). The boy was also 
to be temperate in drink, using only a small quantity of good wine. — 
(Idem, lib. xii. p. 291.) 

Wolf-dung was given in drink, in the intervals between the parox- 
ysms of colic ; the white excrement ejected after eating bones was re- 
r;.irded as the stronger, and especially that which had not touched the 
ground, — a thing not difficult to find, because he says the wolf has 
the same disposition as the dog ; that is, to eject its urine and ordure 
upon rocks, stones, thorns, and bushes, whenever possible, etc. — 
(Galen, "Opera Omnia," Kuhn's edition, lib. xii. pp. 295-297.) 

Goat-dung was useful in the reduction of inveterate hard tumors 
and boils. Galen used it with great success when made into a cata- 
plasm with barley meal. " We also use it," he adds, " in dropsy " 
("aquam inter cutem"). It was also employed in "lepras," "psoras," 
and other skin aiFections. It was applied as a plaster in tumors and 
other swellings and in abscesses of the ear ; also in bites of vipers 
and other wild beasts ("aliarum bestiarum"). It was drunk in wine 
as a cure for the yellow jaundice, and applied as a suppository, mixed 
with incense, in iiterine hemorrhages. But Galen thought that the 
internal employment at least of such disgusting curatives is of ques- 
tionable expediency, especially when more agreeable remedies may 
be available. This objection would, of course, apply with special force 
in cities, although he admits that travellers, country people, and those 
suflfering from poison, must use the first thing within reach (vol. xii. 
p. 299). Bull-dung was regarded by Galen as of value in the cure of 
the stings of bees and wasps (see notes on the same subject taken in 
the State of New Jersey) . In Mysia, a country near the Hellespont, 
physicians ordered it to be smeared on the skins of dropsical patients 
in the sun. The same treatment was supposed to help consumptive 
patients, if the dung was that of grass-fed stock ; but he repeats that 
such remedies are better adapted for rustics than for the inhabitants 
of cities (lib. xii. p. 301). 

Sheep-dung was used for all kinds of warty and excrescential growths 
externally, either raw or burnt, and in the latter case was often mixed 
with, or superseded by, goat -dung (lib. xii. p. 302). 

The dimg of wild doves was preferred to the excrement of the do- 
mestic pigeon ; administered internally, generally mixed with the seed 


of the nasturtium, iu all inveterate pains affecting sides, shoulders, 
skull, loins, kidneys, in vertigo, head-aches, etc. It was used just as 
frequently in cities as in rural communities (lib. xii. p. 302). 

Mouse-dung seems to have been extensively used in medical prac- 
tice, although Galen ridicules the fact, and does not mention the pur- 
poses of its employment (lib. xii. p. 307). 

The dung of barn-yard fowl was used for the same purposes as dove- 
dung. Some people thought that the dung was more efficacious if 
dropped by a fowl that had been stuffed with mushrooms, Galen here 
takes occasion to remark that all animals must differ in the character 
of their excreta as they do in their food ; the same animal, by a change 
of habitat, and consequent change of food, must cause a perceptible 
variation in the qualities of its excrement (lib. xii. p. 304). Galen 
flatly expresses his disbelief in the medicinal value of the excrement of 
the goose, stork, eagle, or hawk, although he admits that they were 
used internally by many practitioners of good standing, in difficulties 
of the respiratory organs ; but he says these same authorities are wont 
to extol the merits, in the treatment of the same diseases, of such ab- 
surd remedies as night-owl's blood, human urine, etc. — (Galen, lib. 12, 
p. 305.) 

Lucian, in his treatise upon remedies for the cure of gout (" trago- 
podagra"), makes mention in several places of excrementitious remedies, 

— as, for example, " dung of mountain-goat and man," 

" And Bones, and Skin, and Fat, and Blood, and Dung, 
Marrow, Milk, Urine, to the fight are brought. " 

— (Edition of William Tooke, F. R. S., London, 1820, vol. i. p. 7-41.) 


■ This author is supposed to have lived in the beginning of the fourth 
century after Christ. 

The edition of his work, " De Medicamentis ex Animalibus," was 
printed in Lyons, in 1537. The pages are not numbered, and the 
citations are consequently by chapter. 

Goat-urine was given as a drink to dropsical patients ("De Capro"). 
This urine was also drunk by women to relieve suppression of the 

For inflammation of the joints, goat-dung was dried and applied as a 
fine powder ; for colic, a fomentation of hot goat-dung was applied to 
the abdomen ; for serpent bites it was applied as a plaster, and also 


drunk in some convenient liquor. For tumors goat-dung was to be 
applied externally. 

For ear troubles goat-urine was applied as a lotion. "Ad aures 
nimus bene audientium, Apri lotium in nitro repositum tepefactum, 
auribus iustillatur audire facit " ("De Apro"). 

For burns, whether by water or fire, burnt cow-dung was to be 
sprinkled on. " Ad combusturam sive ab aqua, sive ab igne factam, 
Taurinus fimus combustus et aspersus sanat" (" De Tauro "). 

** Ad profluvium mulierum, Taurus ibicuncque pastus fuerit folia 
ulmi arboris de fimo ipsius facias siccari et terre in pollinem tenuissi- 
mum, mitte ipsum in carbones in quodam testo, et deponas in vaso et 
sedeat mulier quae patitur encatesma diligenter co-operta (well cov- 
ered up), et sanabitur ut mireris " (" De Tauro "). 

Testo means the " lid of a pot ; " encatesma means a " sitting-bath ; " 
and the sense seems to be that the woman was to take the dung of a 
bull which had been eating the leaves of an elm-tree, dry, reduce to 
fine powder, throw on hot coals on the lid of a pot, and let the woman 
sit on this, well covered up, and have a steam-bath. 

For all kinds of tumors, as well as for every kind of head-ache, 
the dung of elephants was applied externally. " De Elephantis.") 
He makes no mention of the use of asses' dung, but strongly recom- 
mends the use of the excrement of the horse. " Ad sanguinem e 
naribus profluentem, equi stercus siccum et aspersum, sanguinem 
fluentem retinet, maxime naribus suffumigatum." He also recom- 
mends the use of horse-dung externally in the treatment of ear- 
ache, and for retention of the menses internally. " Ad aurium dolorem, 
stercus equi siccum et rosaceo succo liquefactum et collatuni, auribus 
instillatur aurium dolorem perfecte tollit. . . . Ad ventrem non fluen- 
tem, nimiumque tumescentem, Equi stercus aqua liquefactum, et per- 
colatum, postea bibitum, mox faciet egressum." — (" De Equo.") 

Cat-dung was used in the eradication of dandruff and of scald 
in the head ; for excessive after-birth hemorrhages in the form of fumi- 
gation or bath. For the relief of a person who had swallowed a bone 
or thorn, his fauces were rubbed with cat-dung. For the relief of the 
quartan ague, hang cat-dung and cow horn or hoof to the patient's 
arm ; after the seventh attack the fever will leave him for good. — 
(Idem. See under " "Witchcraft," extract from EtmuUer, p. 267.) 

Vulture-dung, mixed with the white dung of dog, cured dropsy and 
palsy, especially if from a vulture which had lived on human flesh ; to 
be taken internally. — (" De Vulture.") 


The m-ine of a virgin boy or girl was an invaluable application for 
affections of the eyes ; also for stings of bees, wasps, and other in- 
sects. As a cure for elephantiasis, the urine of boys was to be drunk 
freely. " Ad elephautiam puerorum, pueri lotium si puer biberit 

The crust from human urine was useful in burns and in bites of mad 
dogs. (Idem. See notes on the Parisian " Mangeurs du blanc") For 
cancers man's ordure was burnt and sprinkled over the sore places ; for 
tertian fevers, it had to be that of the patient himself; and to be held 
in the left hand while burning, then placed in a rag, and tied to his 
left arm before the hour of the recurrence of the fever. " Ad terj;ianas, 
ipsius segri stercus sinistra manu sublutum comburunt et in sinistro 
brachio ante horam accessionis suspendunt." — (" De Puello et Puella 

Hawk-dung, boiled in oil, made an excellent application for sore 
eyes. " De Accipitro.") Crow-dung was given to children to cure 
coughs, and was placed in carious teeth to cure tooth-ache. — ("De 

Dove-dung was applied externally to tumors. — (" De Columba.") 


In " Saxon Leechdoms," is arranged the medical lore of the early 
centuries of the Saxon occupancy and conquest of England. 

"Alexander of Tralles (a. D. 550) . . . guarantees, of his own ex- 
perience and the approval of almost all the best doctors, dung of a 
wolf with bits of bone in it " for colic. — ("Saxon Leechdoms," lib. i. 
c. 18.) 

" Bull's dung was good for dropsical men ; cow's dung for women " 
(vol. i. c. 12, quoting Pliny, lib, xxviii. c. 68). 

Swine-dung was applied to warts (vol. i. p. 101). 

" For bite of any serpent, melt goat's grease and her turd and wax, 
and mingle together ; work it up, so that a man may swallow it whole " 
(vol. i. p. 355, quoting Sextias Flacitus). 

For dropsy, " Let him drink buck's mie . . . best is the mie. 
. . . For sore of ears, apply goat's mie to the ear. . . . Against 
chnrnels, mingle a's turd with honey . . . smear therewith." 

"For thigh pains," "for sore joints," "for cancer," "against swell- 
ings," "tugging of sinews," "carbuncle," "smear with goat's dung" 
(vol. i. pp. 355, 357). 

" For every sore ... let one drink bull's urine in hot water ; soon 


it healeth. . . . For a breach or fracture . . . lay bull's dung warm 
on the breach. . . . For waters burning or fires, burn bull's dung 
and shed thereon." (Idem, p. 369.) The word "shed" as here 
employed means to urinate, apparently. 

" For swerecothe or quinsy," the Saxons used an external applica- 
tion of the white " thost " or dung of a dog which had been gnawing a 
bone before defecation (vol. ii. p. 49). 

" Against shoulder pains, mingle a tord of an old swine." — (Idem, 
p. 63.) 

" If a sinew shrank . . . take a she-goat's tord " (p. 69). 

" Against swelling, take goat's treadles sodden in sharp vinegar " 
(p. 73). 

For a leper, boil in urine hornbeam, elder, and other barks and 
roots. — (Idem, p. 79.) 

"A wound salve for lung diseases," — of this the dung of goose was 
an important ingredient (p. 93). 

" A salve for every wound. . . . Collect cow-dung, cow-stale, work 
up a large kettle full into a batter, as a man worketh soap, then take 
apple-tree rind " and other rinds mentioned, and make a lotion (p. 99). 

For felons, leg diseases, and erysipelas, calf and bullock dungs were 
applied as a fomentation (p. 101). 

" For a dew worm, some take warm, thin ordure of man, they bind 
it on for the space of a night" (vol. ii. p. 125). 

" Against a burn, work a salve ; take goate turd," etc. — (Idem, 
p. 131.) 

" For a horse's leprosy , . . take piss, heat it with stones, wash 
the horse with the piss so hot." — (Idem, p. 157.) 

" If there be mist before the eyes, take a child's urine and virgin 
honey ; mingle together. . . . Smear the eyes therewith on the in- 
side " (vol. ii. p. 309). 

"For joint pain . . . take dove's dung and a goat's turd," exter- 
nally (vol. ii. p. 323). 

"For warts . . . take hound's mie and a mouse's blood," exter- 
nally. — (Idem, p. 323.) 

"Against cancer . . . take a man's dung, dry it thoroughly, rub 
to dust, apply it. If with this thou were not able to cure him, thou 
mayst never do it by any means." — (Idem, p. 329.) 

" Si muliebra nimis fluunt . . . take a fresh horse's tord, lay it on 
hot glades, make it reek strongly between the thighs, up under the 
raiment, that the woman may sweat much." — (Idem, pp. 332, 333.) 


" A smearing for a penetrating worm " was made with " two buckets 
of bullock's mie," among many other ingredients. — (Idem, p. 333.) 

" If a thorn or a reed prick a man in the foot, and will not be gone, 
let him take a fresh goose tord and green yarrow . . . paste them on 
the wound." — (Idem, p. 337.) 

"Against a penetrating worm . . . smear with thy spittle . . . 
and bathe with hot cow-stale " (vol. iii. p. 11). 

"Against a warty eruption. . . . Warm and apply the sham or 
dung of a calf or of an old ox." — (Idem, p. 45.) 

"An asses tord was recommended to be applied to weak eyes." — 
(Idem, p. 99.) 


A careful examination of a Latin edition of " Averrhoes," Lyons, 
1537, discovered nothing in regard to the medicinal use of human or 
animal egestse. 

But, on the contrary, the works of Avicenna teem with such refer- 
ences ; there is hardly a page of the index to his portly volumes that 
does not contain mention of stercoraceous remedies. Out of all this 
abundance these selections will show that the Arabian physicians made 
of such medicaments the same free use as their older brethren of tlie 
subverted Roman empire: " Matricem mundant," "Urina" (vol. i. 
p. 330, a 38) ; "Sanguinem sistunt," "Urina hominis cum cinere 
vitis" (vol. i. p. 466, a 26) ; " Scabei," "Scabiei ulcerosa conferunt," 
"Urina" (vol. i. p. 330, a 8) ; "Sciatica conferunt," " Stercus vac- 
carum et Caprarum cum adipe porci " (vol. i. p. 390, a 5) ; for scrof- 
ula "Stercus Caprarum" (vol. i. p. 388, a 11) ; " Lentiginibus confer- 
unt," "stercus lupi" (vol. i. p. 387, b 66); "Erysipelati conferunt," 
"fex urinse hominis " (vol. i. p. 330, all); while for the same disease, 
as well as for " excoriationi conferunt " were prescribed " stercus cameli 
et pecudis" (vol. i. p. 388, all); " Ui-inse fex," (idem, vol. i. p. 408, 
a 39) ; " Lapidi conferunt," " Stercus muris cum thure " (vol. i. p. 390, 
b 2); again (vol. i. p. 361, a 60) ; "urina porci" (vol. i. p. 408, a 66). 

Lizard-dung an ingredient in a collyrium (vol. ii. p. 322, a 34). 

" Matricis dolores conferunt," " urina hominis decocta cum porris " 
(vol. i. p. 408, b 1). Goat-dung " Matrici fluxui conferunt," " stercus 
caprarum siccum " (vol. i. p. 388, a 15, and vol. i. p. 390, a 50). 

For epilepsy, one of the remedies was " stercus cameli " (vol. i. p. 
338, a 6). Yellow jaundice, " Icteritias conferunt," " urina mulieris 
cum aqua mellis " (vol. i. p. 330, a 31) ; for burns, "Stercus capra- 
rum et ovium cum aceto" (vol. i. p. 389, b 62). Another remedy 


fur burns was, " Stercus columbarum cum melle ct semine lini " (vol. 
i. p. 389, b6o). 

"Impetigine conferunt," "urina " (vol. i. p. 330, a 10) ; for ulcers, 
** Stercus cameli et pecudis " (vol. i. p. 388, a 9) ; also for the same, 
" stercus canis ab ossibus cum mellis " (vol. i. p. 390, a 2) ; also " uriua 
asini et hominis " (vol. i. p. 408, a 31) ; human urine again pre- 
scribed for ulcers, in vol. i. p. 231, 646. 

*' Stercoris muris decoctio" alleviated difficulty in urination (vol. i. 
p. 361, a 63). "Impetigine conferunt," "stercus columbarum et 
turdorum" (vol. i. p. 390 al). 

As a cure for the wounds of Armenian airows (9, " De sagittis Ar- 
menis") Avicenna says: "Jam parvenit ad me quod potus stercoris 
humani est theriaca ad illud " (vol. i. p. 305, a 5). ("Theriaca" 
means literary a remedy for the bites of serpents and wild beasts, but 
in the present case it is used to mean a panacea.) 

For poisonous bites, "ad morsum viperarum et omnium venenosorum 
animalium " " et iterum quae bonse sunt " (" Medicinse " understood) 
"est stercus caprinum commixtum in vino et detur in potu " (vol. ii. 
p. 227, b 36) ; " Urina hominis " also prescribed for the same in the 
same paragraph. The dung of goats, mixed with pepper and cinna- 
mon, a provocative of the menses (vol. i. p. 390, a 49). 

The dung of mice prescribed internally for the cure of running from 
the ears, to aid in the expulsion of the after-birth, calculus, poison of 
venomous reptiles, etc. (vol. i. pp. 361, a 58). 

"Matrici fluxui conferunt," "stercus caprarum siccum " (vol. i. p. 
383, a 15, and vol. i. pp. 390, a 50). 

"Spasma conferunt," "Uriua" (vol. i. p. 408, a 40); "Splenis 
duritiei conferunt," " Stercus caprarum " (vol. i. p. 30, a 50.) 

"Ano conferunt," "Urina infantium lactentium" (vol. i. p. 408, 
a 55.) 

" Stercus pecudis adustum cum aceto " was prescribed for the bite 
of a mad dog (vol. i. pp. 388, a 21) ; " Urina cum nitro " (idem, vol. i. 
p. 408, b7), "Canis stercus pro anginae curat ion e " (vol. i. p. 616, 
a 59). 


Marco Polo mentions that in the province of Carazan (Khorassan ?), 
the common sort of people carried poison about their pei-sons, so that 
if taken prisoners by the Tartars, they might commit suicide ; but the 

Tartars compelled them to swallow dog's dung as an antidote (See 

Marco Polo, in Pinkerton, vol. vii. p. 143.) 


" In cases of sickness, the Eskimo of Cumberland Sound are not 
allowed to clean their chambers before sunrise." — (" The Central 
Eskimo," Boas, p. 593.) 

The writings of the best medical authorities for the first two centu- 
ries after the discovery of the art of printing teem with copious disser- 
tations upon the value of these medicaments in all diseases, and as 
potent means of frustrating the maleficence of witches ; the best of these 
writings will be selected and arranged in chronological order. 

" A dram of a shape's tyrdle, 
And good Saint Francis gyrdle, 
With the hamlet of a hyrdle, 
Are wholsom for the pyppe." 

(Brand, "Pop. Ant." vol. iii. 
p. 311, art. " Rural Charms," quoting Bale, " Interlude concerning the Laws of Na- 
ture, Moses, and Christ." 4to. 1562.) 

" An oyle drawne out of the excrements of Chyldren " and " An Oyle 
drawne out of Maune's Ordure," described as medicines in the " Newe 
Jewell of Health," by George Baker, Chirurgeon, London, 1576 
(Black Letter), pp. 171, 172, was prescribed for fistula and several 
other ailments. 

" "Water distilled from !Manne's Ordure " was given internally for 
the falling sickness, dropsy, etc. . . . There was also an " Oyle 
drawne out of the Excrements of Chyldren," as well as one from 
"Manne's Ordure" (see "Doctor Gesnerus, faithfully Englished," p. 
76). In the same work we read of " Water of Doue's dung . . . which 
helpeth the stone " when taken internally. — (Idem p. 77.) 

Paracelsus seems to be entitled to more credit than is generally ac- 
corded him ; he was a chemist, in the early stages of that science, 
groping in the dark, but he was not the mere quack so many are 
anxious to make him out to have been. He condemns the old practice 
of medicine : — " The olde Physitians made very many medicines of 
most filthy things, as of the filth of tlie eares, sweat of the body, of 
women's menstrues (and that which it is horrible to be spoken), of the 
Dung of man and other beastes, spittle, urine, flics, mice, the ashes 
of an owle's head, etc. . . . Truly, when I consider with myself the 
pride of these fooles which disdaine this metalline part of Physicko 
(which after their manner, contumeliously they call Chymerican, and 
therefore can neither helpe their owne nor many other diseases), I call 
to mind a storie ... of Herachio Ephesio, which being sick of a lep- 
rosie, despising the help of Physitians, anoynting himself over with 


cow-dung, set himselfe in the sun to drie, and falling asleepe was torn 
to pieces by dogges." — (Paracelsus, " Experiments," translation of 1596, 
p. 59.) 

This last statement should be compared with the description of the 
suicides of the East Indian fanatics, given under " Ordeals and Pun- 

Dr. Fletcher, United States Army, states that in old medical practice 
in England, from the time of Queen Elizabeth down to comparatively 
modern days, consumptive patients were dii-ected to inhale the fumes 
of ordure. " Some physicians say that the smell of a jakes is good 
against the plague." — ("Ajax," p. 74.) 

Urine was one of the ingredients from which Paracelsus prepared 
his " Crocus, or Tincture of Metals." — (See " Archidoxes," English 
translatioE, London, 1661, p. 59.) 

Further on he says, " The salt of man's urine hath an excellent 
quality to cleanse ; it is made thus," etc. (p. 74). He also says: 
" Man's dung, or exci-ement, hath very great virtues, because it contains 
in it all the noble essences, viz. : of the Food and Drink, concerning which 
wonderful things might be written." — ("Archidoxes," lib. v. p. 74.) 

" To distill Oyle of a Man's Excrements, . . . Take the Doung of 
a young, sanguine child, or man, as much as you will. . . This helpeth 
the Canker and mollifieth fistulas ; comforteth those that are troubled 
with Alopecea." — (" The Secrets of Physicke," London, 163.3, p. 98.) 

"Fur any manner of Ache . . . a plaister of Pigeon's dung" (see 
" A Rich Storehouse or Treasurie for the Diseased," Ralph Blower, 
London, 1616, black letter, p. 3) ; also, "Hen's Dung" (idem, p. 4) ; 
to provoke urine, a plaster of Horse dung was applied to the patient, 
(p. 25.) 

" For spitting of blood . . . the dung of mice was drunk in wine 
(idem, p. 29) ; for sore breasts of women, a plaster of Goose dung (p. 
33) ; " for Burns and Scalds ... a Plaster of Sheepe's doung," (p. 38) ; 
also, " the Doung of Geese " (p. 39). 

" For deafe ears . . . the pisse of a pale Goat " was poxired into 
them (p. 67) ; horse-dung was used as a face-lotion (p. 106); for the 
bloody flux soak the feet in water in which " Doue's Doung has been 
seethed" (p. 119). For the gout, "Stale pisse" was an ingredient in 
a composition for external application (p. 119). For stitch in the side 
and back " Pigeon's Doung" was use externally (p. 172) ; for sciatica, 
" Oxe-Doung and Pigeon's Doung " in equal parts, were applied as a 
plaster (p. 173). Cow-dung was used internally in hydrocele ("The 


Chyrurgeou's Closet," London, 1632, p. 38) ; The urine of boys was 
used as an application to ulcers in the legs (idem, p. 24) ; again, the 
urine of immaculate boys was employed for the cure of all inveterate 
ulcers (p. 27) ; goat-dung was applied externally for the cure of auric- 
ular abscesses and for ulcers (pp. 35 and 42) ; cow-dung and dove- 
dung were used in the same manner (idem p. 42); dove-dung was 
also used externally in the treatment of sciatica (p. 48), and for 
*' Shingles " (idem p. 51). Goat-dung, externally, for tumors (p. 49) ; 
goose-dung, externally, for canker in the breasts of women (p. 50) ; 
swallow-dung, externally, for angina; chicken-dung for the same 
(p. 58) ; cow-dung, externally, for tumors in the feet (p. 56) ; cow 
and goat dung, externally, in dropsy (p. 222) ; and many others 
throughout the volume. 

In a black letter co^jy of "The Englishman's Treasure," London, 1641, 
is given a cure for wounds, in which it is directed " To wash the wounde 
very cleane with urine." — (In Toner Collection, Library of Congress, 
Washington, D. C.) 

To restrain excessive menstrual flow, apply hot plasters of horse- 
dung, between the navel and the privy parts. — (See " The English- 
man's Treasure," by Thomas Vicary, Surgeon to King Henry VIII. , 
Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth; London, 1641, p. 184; this little 
volume contains nothing else of value to this work.) 

Horse-dung was used internally for pleurisy (" Secrets in Physicke," 
by the Comtesse of Kent, London, 1654, pp. 26, 27); goose-dung, in- 
ternally, for yellow jaundice (idem, p. 37); "Hound's Turd," exter- 
nally, "to cure the bleeding of a Wound" (idem, p. 46); peacock's 
dung, internally, for the falling sickness or convulsions (idem, p. 56) ; 
" The patient's own water," externally, for pains in the breast (p. 64) ; 
pigeon's dung, both internally and externally, in child-birth pains (p. 
68); goose-dung, externally, for burns (p. 96); hen's dung, exter- 
nally, for burns (p. 152); and for sore eyes (p. 174); "stale urine," 
externally, for sore feet (p. 163). 

" The stale of a cow and the furring of a chamber-pot " to be 
given, applied locally and externally, for scald head (" Most excellent 
and most approved Remedies," London, 1652, p. 80). "The Urine of 
him that is sick," externally, for stitch in the side (p. 115) ; goose 
dung, externally, for canker in woman's breast (p. 129) ; " Urin of a 
Man Child (he becing not aboue 3 years of age)" was a component in 
a salve for the king's evil (p. 132). For patients sick of the plague, 
"Let them drink twice a day a draught of their own urin" (p. 143). 


" A certain countryman at Antwerp was an example of this, who, 
when he came into a shop of sweet smells, he began to faint, but one 
presently clapt some fresh smoking hoi-se-dung under his nose and 
fetched him to again." — (Levinns Lemnius, " The Secret Miracles 
of Nature,'* Eng. translation, London, 1G58, p. 107, speaking of the 
effects of sweet and nasty smells upon different persons.) 

" The urine of a Lizard, . . . the dung of an elephant," were in 
medical use, according to Montaigne (" Essays," Ilazlitt's translation, 
New York, 1859, vol. iii. p. 23; art. "On the Resemblance of Children 
to their Parents"). Also, "the excrement of rats beaten to powder" 
(idem). The above remedies were for the stone. 

Doctor Garrett mentions " water of amber made by Paracelsus out 
of cow-dung," and gives the recipe for its distillation, as well as for 
that of its near relative, " water of dung," the formula for Avhich begins 
with the words, " Take any kind of dung you please." ^ 

The work of Daniel Beckherius, " Medicus Microcosmus," published 
in London, in 1660, is full of the value of excremeutitious remedial 

Urine alone was applied to eradicate lice from the human head ; but 
a secondary application of dove's dung was then plastered on (p. 62). 
Urine was drunk as a remedy for epilepsy, used as an eye-wash, and 
various other ocular affections, and dropped into the ears for various 
abscesses and for deafness (pp. 63, 64). 

A lotion of one's own urine was good for the palsy ; but where this 
had been occasioned by venery, excessive drinking, or mercury, the urine 
of a boy was preferable (p. 64). A drink of one's own urine, taken 
while fasting, was commended in obstructions of the liver and spleen, 
and in dropsy and yellow jaundice (idem) ; but some preferred the 
urine of a young boy (p. 65). For jaundice the remedy should be 
drunk every morning, and the treatment continued for some time 

For retention of urine the remedy was to drink the urine of a young 
girl (p. 66), Urine was drunk as a remedy for long-continued constipation 
(idem) ; for falling of the womb stale urine was applied as a fomenta- 
tion (idem) ; for hysteria human ordure and stale urine were applied to 
the nostrils (idem) ; the urine of the patient was drunk as a cure for 
worms (idem ) ; urine was used as a wash for chapped hands, also for 
all cutaneous disorders (idem) ; also for "ficus ani " (p. 67). For gout 

1 Garrett, Myths in Medicine, New York, 1884, pp. 148, 149. 


in the feet the patient should bathe them in his own urine, also for 
ti-avel sores, as he would then be able to resume his journey next day 

One's own urine was drunk as a preservative from the plague, 
Beckherius says he knew of his own knowledge that it had been used 
with wonderful success between 1620 and 1630 for this purpose. 

Urine was recommended as a drink in lues veneris ; while a sufferer 
from cancer was bathed in his own urine and Roman vitriol ; ulcers were 
likewise bathed with the patient's own urine (p. 68). Urine was applied 
as a lotion to wounds, bruises, and contusions (p. 69). Beckherius recites 
the case of a laborer who was buried under a falling mass of earth, in 
1522, but, being protected by some obstruction, nourished himself for 
seven days on his own urine. Besides l)eing used alone in the above 
cases, urine entered as an ingredient into medicines for old sores (p. 72) ; 
against the growth of "wild hairs," ocular affections, throat troubles as 
gargle (p. 73), affections of the spleen (p. 74). The urine of a boy was 
to be employed in paralysis and in erysipelas (idem) ; the urine of a 
boy was also prescribed in suppression of the menses, and the urine of 
a man in podagra (75). The urine of undefiled boys entered into the 
composition of aqua opthahnica, and was used externally in rheumatism 
of the legs (p. 74). 

The urine of boys was used as an ointment in some fevers ; also as a 
fomentation in tympanitis, as a plaster in dropsy, for gangrene and 
podagra, in various clysters, in the cure of calculi and cachexy (pp. 78, 
79) ; in some of the plasters cow and dove dung also entered. F'or the 
treatment of anasarca there was a " spagyric preparation of urine." To 
make the spirit of urine by distillation, some took the urine of a 
healthy man, some that of a wine-drinking boy of twelve years (pp. 81, 
82). This spirit was administered in lung troubles, in dropsy, sup- 
pression of the menses, all kinds of fevers, retention of urine, calculus, 
etc. (p. 85) ; also in eye troubles, strangury, diabetes, podagra, 
catarrh, melancholia, phrensy, cardialgia, syncope, dj'sentery, plague, 
malignant fevers (p. 86). 

The " spirit of urine " was again distilled with vitriol to make an 
anti-podagric remedy (85). 

Salt of urine was made by distilling the urine of a boy and collect- 
ing the saline residuum ; it was administered in cardiac troubles and to 
aid in the expulsion of the dead foetus ; from it were made various em- 
pirical remedies, — moon salt, the salt of Jove, salt of Mercury, spirit 
of Orion, mercurius microcosmicus, which were used for all kinds of 


physical infirmities (p. 87). The quintessence of urine was distilled 
from the urine of a strong, health}', chaste man of thirty years, who 
had drunk heavily of wine for the occasion ; by another authority it is 
recommended that this happen while the sun and Jupiter may be in 
' Piscibus." This was used in calculi of the kidneys and bladder and 
in all ulcerations of those parts ; externally, as a lotion in gonorrhoea 
and external ulcers of the private parts, for wounds and lesions of all 
«orts, urinary troubles, worms, putrid fevers, and as a preservative 
against the plague, for hard tumors, etc. (p. 97). 

An " anti-epileptic spirit " had the urine of boys as its main com- 
ponent (p. 95) ; there was an " anti-epileptic extract of the moon 
(p. 96) ; an " anti-podagric medicament " of the same components 
almost. A " panacea Solaris " had for its principal ingredient the urine 
of a boy who had been drinking freely of wine (p. 97). 


Beckherius cites a case where its use for three days cured a man of 
yellow jaiaudice ; dried, powdered, and drunk in wine, it cured febrile 
paroxysms (p. 112) ; it was recommended to be that of a boy fed for 
some time on bread and beans. 

To smell human ordure in the morning, fasting, protected from 
plague (pp. 112, 113). 

He also gives the mode of preparing "zibethum," or "occidental 
sulphur" (p. 116). 

As a cure for angina a mixture was prescribed containing the white 
dung of dogs ; also human ordui-e, swallow-dung, licorice, and candy 
(p. 113). In cancer, human ordure was applied as a plaster, mixed 
with turpentine, tobacco, antimony, powdered litharge, powdered crabs, 
etc. (pp. 113, 11 4). 

He also gives the formulas for preparing aqua and oleum ex stercore 
humano (p. 114). In other places the use of ordure and urine in medi- 
cine is mentioned as a matter of course. — (See p. 274 ; also under the 
headings of "Ass," "Mouse," "Horse," etc.; again, pp. 114, 192 
et seq.) 

Beckherius gives a list of a number of preparations which to our 
more enlightened view of such things must appear trivial, and need 
not be repeated here in detail, — such as one for " extracting the 
vitriol of metals," etc. Into the preparation of all these human urine 

Potable gold was made with a menstruum of spirits of wine and 


human urine, half and half (pp. 100-102) ; there was an " oil of sul- 
phur" prepared from human urine (103); there was a " precipitate 
of mercury and urine " (idem) ; there was finally a ludum urince, the 
residuum after the distillation of the aqua or the spiritus respectively, 
which was prescribed medicinall}'^ in the same way as these were 
(pp. 109, 110). 

Yon Helmont called the salt obtained by the distillation of human 
urine " duelech." (See " Oritrike, or Physicke Refined," John Baptist 
von Helmont, English translation, London, 1662, pp. 847-849.) This 
was the name generally given by Paracelsus to the stone in the bladder. 
Yon Helmont instances a cure of tympanitis or dropsy by a belly- 
plaster of hot cow-dung, and adds, " Neither, therefore, doth Paracelsus 
vainly commend dungs, seeing that they are the salts of putrefied 
meats" (p. 520). 

"Petrseus (Henricus) Nosolog. Harmon, lib. i. dissertat. 13, p. 252, 
et Job. Schtederas, pharmacop. med. chym. lib. v. p. 829, "stercus 
siccatum tritum et cum melle illitum ad anguinam curandam magni 
usus esse dicunt." — (" Bib. Scatalogica," p. 84.) 

The ponderous tomes of Michael Etmuller contain all that was 
known or believed in on this subject at the time of their publication, 
A. D. 1690. He gives reasons for the employment of each excrement, 
solid or liquid, human or animal, which need not be detailed at this 

Human urine. " Urina calif, exsiccat, resolvit, abstergit, discutit, 
mundificat, putredini resistit, ideoque usus est prcccipue mtriusecus in 
obstructione epatis, lienis, vesica, biliara), pestis preservatione, hy- 
drope, ictero. . . . Exstrinsecus siccat scabiem, resolvit tumores, mun- 
dificat vulnera etiam venenata, arcet gangrcenam, solvit alvum (in 
clysmata) abstergit furfures capitis. . . . compescit febrilcs insulins 
(pulsui applicata) exulceratas aures sanat (instillata pueri urina) ocu- 
lorum tubedine subvenit (instillata) artuum tremorem tollit (lotione) 
uvulse tumorem discutit (gargas), lienis dolores sedat (cum cinere 

From the urine of a wine-drinking boy, "urina pueri (ann. 12) vinum 
bibentis," distilled over human ordure, was made "spiritus urinse" of 
great value ui the expulsion of calculi, although it stunk abominably, 
"sed valde foetet." This was employed in the treatment of gout, 
asthma, calculi, and diseases of the bladder. (Etmuller, " Schroderi 
Diluc," vol. ii. p. 265.) There are several other methods given of 
obtaining this " spiritus urinse per distillationem." 


Then there was a " spiritus urinse per putrefactionem." To make 
this, the urine of a boy twelve years old, who had been drinking wine, 
was placed in a receptacle, surrounded by horse-dung for forty days, 
allowed to putrefy, then decanted upon human ordure, and distilled 
in an alembic, etc. There were other methods for making this also, 
but this one will suffice. The resulting fluid was looked upon as 
a great "anodyne" for all sorts of pains, and given both internally 
and externally, as well as in scurvy, hypochondria, cachexy, yellow 
and black jaundice, calculi of the kidneys and bladder, epilepsy, and 

" Potable gold " was made from this spirit. " Idem spiritus optime 
purificatus (scil. aliquoties) in aqua pluvia solvendo et distillando cum- 
que spiritus vini analytice unitus solvit aurum, unde aurum potabile " 
(vol ii. p. 266). 

A urine bath was good for gout in the feet. A drink of one's own 
urine was highly praised as a preservative from the plague. "Urince : 
Potus urinse proprise laudatur in preservanda et curanda peste." 
Such a draught was also used by women in labor. " Urinae hausta a 
mulieribus parturientibus partum facilitat." Clysters of urine were 
administered in tympanites, or dropsy of the belly. Urine was ap- 
plied in ulcerations of the ears. 

Saltpetre was formerly made from earth, lime, etc., saturated with 
human urine, oi'dure, etc. 

The "spiritus urinse" obtained by the distillation of urine, removed 
obstructions from the bladder, meatus, etc., expelled calculi, and was a 
diaphoretic and an anti-scorbutic ; it was likewise used in the cure of 
hypochondria, cachexy, chlorosis, etc., taken internally. 

From the distillation of vitriol and urine an anti-epileptic medicine 
was obtained. — (Idem, vol. ii. p. 271.) 

From the above-mentioned " spiritus urinse per distillationem " was 
prepared " magisterium urinse sen microcosm!," useful in cases of 
atrophj' ; it also prevented the pains of the stone, if taken monthly 
before the new moon. — (Etmuller, vol. ii. p. 268.) 

Human ordure. " Stercus (carbon humanum Paracelsi, aliis sulph. 
occiden.) emoUit, maturat, anodynum est. Ea propter magni usus ad 
mitigandum dolores incantatione introductos (irapositum) ad anthraces 
pestilcntiales maturandos, ad phlegmonem, v. g. gutturis seu anginam 
curandam (siccatum, tritum et cum melle illitum) ad inflammationem 
vulnerum arcendam. Quin et intrinsecus a nonnullis adhibetur in an- 
gina (crematum et potui datum), in febribus ad paroxysmos prof- 



ligandos (eodem modo propinatum dos. 32), in epilepsia, quam stercus 
primuin infantuli siccatum et pulverisatura, et ad coraplures dies 
exhibitum, radicitus evellere aiunt " (vol. ii. p. 2GG). 

He alludes to the "aqtia" and the "oleum" "ex stercore distilla- 
tum," both used in ophthalmic diseases, as cosmetics to restore color to 
the face, to restore and produce hair, to cure tumors and fistulas, and 
remove cicatrices, and for the cure of epilepsy. " Interne prodesse 
aiuut comitialibus et hydropicis, lapidemque renum et vesicae pellere, 
morsibusque canis rabidi, venenatorumque animalium subvenire." 
The "oleum ex stercore" had to be prepared from the ordure of a 
youug man, not a boy, " juvenis, non pueri " (vol. ii. p. 260). 

Etmuller tells the same story we have already had from so many 
other sources, in regard to the medicinal properties ascribed to human 
ordure. It was looked upon as a valuable remedy, applied as a poul- 
tice for all inflammations and suppurations, carbuncles and pest bu- 
boes, administered for the cure of bites of serpents, and all venomous 
animals. It should be taken raw, dried, or in drink. It was the only 
specific against the bites of the serpents of ludia, especially the " na- 
pellus," whose bite kills in four hours unless the patient adopts this 
method of cure. It was considered a specific against the plague, and 
of great use in effecting " magico-magnetic " or " sympathetic or trans- 
plantation " cures. It was also in high repute for baffling the efforts 
of witches. 

"Water distilled from ordure was good for sore eyes, especially if the 
man whose ordure was used had been fed only on bread and wine. 
This was administered internally for dropsy, calculus, epilepsy, bites 
of mad dogs, carbuncles, etc." (vol. ii. p. 272). 

" Zibetta occidentalis nihil est aliud quam stercus mediante diges- 
tione ad suavolentiam redactum, qua Zibettam mentitur; vid. Agri- 
cola," vol. ii. p. 2G6. 

Of the value of this "zibethum" Etmuller quotes from an older 
authority : " Kosencranzerus in Astron. inferior (p. 232), dicit quod 
zibethum humauum ... si illinatur parti genitali mulieris fcEmiua 
attrahat fostum et precaveatur abortus" (vol. ii. p. 272). 

Human ordure, containing as it does " an anodyne sulphur, . . . 
destructive of acids," was supposed to be beneficial in b\u-ns, inflamma- 
tions, and as a plaster for the dispersal of plague buboes. ... In 
insulis Botiis dictis, gens quoddam serpentis repiriri, cujus morsum 
mors sequatur, nisi stercus proprium demorsi mox assumatur. Tan- 
dem aqua stercoris humani cosmetica, ab aliis ophthalmatica censetur 


sic ut et ejusdem oleum contra cancrum mammarura specifice com- 
meudatur " (vol. ii. p. 171). 

" In stercoribus animalium magna latet vis medica, ratione scilicet 
salis volatilis ; in specie stercus porciuum onmes hiemorrhagias ad 
miraculum sistit, sive in forma pulveris ad 3 i., sive in forma electuarii 
adhibens; annus est quo rustica quajdam post abortum insigne patie- 
batur mensium profluvium uui cum meo suasu maritus inscie propi- 
nasset stercus suillum, fluxus cessavit et mnlier pristinae reddita 
sanitati. Stercus equmum summum est remedium in passione hys- 
terica, et doloribus colicis, si succus expressus cum cerevisia vel vino 
propinetur; sic quoque conducit in variolis et morbilis infantum, prop- 
iuatus cum cerevisia calida, qui optime per sudorem expellit ut taceam 
de effectu quem prtestat in pleuritide laudando. 

Ut ita licet volatilia in uno puncto convenire videantur, diversis 
taraen, ratione diversse et specificse cujuslibet craseus raedeantur mor- 
bos " (vol. ii. sect. 3, " Pyrotechnia Eationalis," — " de Animalibus," 
Etmuller, " Opera Omnia," xx.) 

" Animalium omnium participant de natura salis ammoniac! constant 
quippe (are certainly known) ex acido et alcali oleoso volatili indeque, 
aurae beneficio alterantur in nitro, prsesertim avium excrementa quic- 
qnid igitur prsestant, operantur ex vi salis ammoniacali " (vol. ii. p. 171). 

The use of animal dungs was noted, but not unqualifiedly com- 
mended by Etmuller, in the following cases : dog-dung, mixed with 
honey, for inflammation of the throat ; wolf-dung, in form of powder, 
as an anti-colic. 

Dog-dung (album Groecum officinalis) was regarded as useful in dys- 
entery, epilepsy, colic ; was applied externally in angina, malignant 
ulcers, hard tumors, warty growths, etc. Especial value was attached 
to such dung gathered in the month of July, from a bone-fed dog, 
because it was whiter, purer, and less fetid. Dog-urine was employed 
as a lotion for warty growths, ulcers on the head, etc. (vol. ii. p. 253). 

" Dicitur in officinis semper album Graecum, nunquam stercus." 
The dog "debite nutriatnr cum ossibus solis, cum nullo vel pauco 
potu " (vol. ii. p. 254). 

Goat-dung was used in hard tumors of the spleen and other parts of 
the body ; in buboes, ear-abscesses, inveterate ulcers, dropsy, scabby 
head, lichen, etc. (p. 254). In all these its use was external, but for 
other troubles of the spleen, yellow jaundice, retention of the menses, 
and similar ailments, it was given internally. Goat-urine was given 
internally in removal of calculi, urinary troubles, and (after distilla- 


tion) for dropsy. The egestae of tlie wild goat were used for almost 
identically the same disorders (vol. ii. p. 254). 

The juice of horse-dung was used by the English iu colic, pleurisy, 
and hysteria. — (Etmuller, vol. ii. p. 254.) 

Pig-dung, dried, snuflFcd up into the nostrils, cured nasal hemor- 
rhages. Compare this with the use made of the dried excrement of 
the Grand Lama as a sternutatory and general curative. 

Hyena-dung was used in medicine, but the diseases are not men- 

Sparrow-dung and mouse-dung, if made into pills, and taken to the 
number of nine, would bring on the menses of women. 

Cow-dung was recommended as a fomentation in gout. 

The use of cow-dung, internally, was highly commended for expel- 
ling calculi and for the cure of retention of urine, on account of the 
" volatile nitrous salts which ascended in the alembic, and which had 
a good effect upon the kidneys." 

The common people drank the juice expressed from this dung iu all 
cases of colic and pleurisy, for which they found it a beneficial medicine. 
" Ulterius valde couvenit ad pellendum calculum et ciendam urinam 
propter sal. vol. nitrosum qui ascendit per alembicam unde ad nephri- 
tidem et ciendam urinam valde commendatur a poterio. . . . Plebii 
in colico dolore succum ex stercore propinant, quod verum est, non 
solum in colico sed etiam in pleuritide prsesentaneum remedium " 
(vol. ii. pp. 249, 250). 

The juice of young geese, gathered in the month of March, was used 
in jaundice and cachexy. . . . Hen-dung was sometimes employed as 
a substitute for goose-dung. Peacock-dung was employed in all cases 
of vertigo. . . . Swallow-dung was used in cases of angina and inflam- 
mation of the tonsils (vol. ii. p. 171). 

Hawk-dung was used for sore eyes. Diick-dung " fimus morsui vene- 
natorum animalium imponitur " (vol. ii. p. 286). 

Goat-dung, drunk in cases of hemorrhage. . . . Goat-urine consid- 
ered a specific for the expulsion of calculi of the bladder. Asses' urine 
drunk for diseases of the kidneys, atrophy, paralysis, consumption, etc. 
Asses' dung taken internally in form of powder or potion, and applied 
also externally in all cases of hemorrhage, excessive uterine flow, and 
troubles of that nature (vol. ii. p. 247). It was thought by some to 
be best when gathered in the month of May ; others thought that dog- 
dung should be substituted. Cow-urine was a beneficial application 
to sore eyes. 


Cow-dung was used in all cases of bums, inflammations, rheumatism, 
etc., "apum ac vesparum morsibus." (We have already seen that it 
has been used for bee stiugs in the State of New Jersey.) " Suffitu 
reprimit uterum prolapsura." Finally, it was used as a plaster in 
dropsy. — (Etmuller, vol. ii. p. 248.) 

Dove-dung was applied generally in cataplasms and rubefacient 
plasters for the cure of rheumatism, headache, vertigo, colic pains, 
apoplexy ; also in boils, scorbutic swellings, etc., and drunk as a cure 
for dropsy. — (Etmuller, vol. ii. p. 287.) 

Quail-dung, " fimum in vino potum, dysenteriam sanare tradit Kyna- 
rides " (vol. ii. p. 288). 

Fresh calf-dung was rubbed on the skin for the cure of erysipelas. 

Fox-dung was applied externally for the cure of all cutaneous dis- 
orders (vol. ii. pp. 283-285). 

Kid-dung (Capreolus or Chevreul) was drunk as a cure for yellow 
jaundice (vol. ii. p. 257). 

Cat-dung was applied as a poultice to scab in the head and to gout 
in the feet (vol. ii. p. 259). 

Horse-dung, fresh or burnt to ashes, was applied externally as a 
styptic, used as a fumigation to aid in the expulsion of the foetus and 
after-birth ; also drunk as a potion for colic pains, strangulation of 
the uterus, expulsion of the foetus and after-birth, and for pleurisy. 
"Stercus equinum est medicina magni et multi usus. , . . Interne 
succus ex stercore recenti expressus." For the certain cure of pleurisy, 
it should be the dung of a young stallion, especially if oat-fed. " In 
Angina certe stercus equinum non cedit stercori hirundinum . . . et 
canis" (voL ii. p. 263). 

Lion-dung, taken internally, was an anti-epileptic. 

Hare-dung was administered internally in calculus and dysentery, 
and externally for burns. 

Hare-urine was applied in ear troubles. 

Wolf-dung was found efficacious, taken internally, in colic. 

Musk was frequently given, mixed with zibethum, as a carminative ; 
also as a nervine and a cardiac. 

Mouse-dung found its advocates as a remedy, given internally, in 
the constipation of children, calculi, used in enemata. 

The internal administration of rat-dung removed catamenial ob- 

Mouse-dung was styled " album nigrum ; " dog-dung, " album 


Sheep-dung was administered internally in yellow jaundice ; " max- 
imi U8U8 in aurigine, sumptum cum petroselino " (rock-parsley), — 
while, externally, it was applied to hard tumors, swellings, boils, 
burns, etc. 

The urine of red or black sheep was given internally in dropsy. 
" Urina (nigrae vel rubrae ovis) sumpta, aquam inter cutem abigit." 
The dose was from five to six ounces. 

Hog-dung, externally, in cutaneous disoi'ders, bites of venomous 
animals, nasal hemorrhage, — for the cure of this last even the odor 
was suflBcient ; " sufficit etiam odor." 

Michaelus Etmuller, "Opera Omnia," "Schroder! dilucidati Zoologia," 
Lyons, 1690, vol. ii. pp. 263-279, inclusive. 

Quail-dung was administered for epilepsy when the bird had been fed 
on hellebore. — (Etmuller, "Opera Omnia," "Schrod. Diluc. Zool." 
vol. ii. p. 288.) 

Cuckoo-dung, taken in drink, cured the bites of mad dogs. — (Idem.) 

White hen-dung was preferred for medicinal purposes. It was em- 
ployed for the same ailments as dove-dung, but was not believed to bo 
so efficacious. It was especially valuable in colic and uterine pains, in 
yellow jaundice, calculus, abscesses in the side, suppression of urine, 
etc. (vol. ii. p. 289), 

There was another cure for the bites of mad dogs, — the dung of 
the swallow taken internally. It was also considered to be a cure for 
colic pains and kidney troubles, and was made into a suppository in 
cases of irritation of the rectum (vol. ii. p. 290). 

• Kite-dung was sometimes applied externally in pains of the joints 
(vol. ii. p. 291). 

As a purgative, starling dung is enumerated in this strange list of 
filthy medicaments (vol. ii. p. 292). 

The egestae of wild oxen was used for the same therapeutical pur- 
poses as the excrement of the domesticated bovines (vol. ii. p. 252). 

Peacock-dung. " Stercus proprietate vertiginem et epilcpsiam sanat 
(in dies multos exhibitnm)." It should be administered in wine, and 
the treatment was to be persisted in from the new imtil the full moon, 
or longer. " Continuando a novilunio usque ad plenilunium, aut am- 
plius. ... In epilepsiam est specificum magno usu expertum." It 
was likewise considered of great value in the cure of vertigo, but the 
dung of the cock should be given to men ; that of the hen, to women. 
Etmuller, however, did not think this distinction to be necessary (vol. 
ii. pp. 292, 293). 


The dung of geese, old or young, was employed in the treatment of 
yellow jaundice, for which it was believed to be a specific. The dose 
was one scruple. The geese should have been fed on '' herba cheli- 
donii." Next to the yellow jaundice, it was of special value in scurvy, 
taken either in the form of a powder or a decoction. For the cure of 
dropsy it was the main ingredient in several of the remedies prescribed. 
It was also the principal component in the manufacture of ** aqua 
ophthalmica Imperatoris Maximiliani," to prepare which, the dung of 
young geese was gathered in the months of April and May (vol. ii. 
p. 287). 

Stork-dung, stercus ciconiae. Believed to be potential in epilepsy 
and diseases of the same type. " Stercus, si ex aqua hauritur, comiti- 
alibus aliisque morbis capitis prodesse credunt." — (Etmuller, vol. ii. 
p. 287.) 

The laxative properties of mouse-dung were extolled by Dr. Jacob 
Augustine Hunerwolf, in " Ephemeridum Physico-Medicarum," Leip- 
zig, 1694, vol. i. p. 189. 

Rosiuus Lentilius relates that there was a certain old hypochrondiac, 
of fifty or more, who, in order to ease himself of an obstinate constipa- 
tion, for more than a month drank copious draughts of his own urine, 
fresh and hot, but with the worst results, " Per mensem circiter urinam 
suam statim a mictu calentem ipsa matuta hauriret." — (In " Ephem. 
Physico-Medicarum," Leipzig, 1694, vol. ii. p. 169.) 

On the page just cited and those immediately following, can be found 
some ten or twelve pages of fine print, quarto, elucidative of the 
uses of the human excreta, medicinally, and as a matter of morbid 

To the Ephemeridum, Dr. Lentilius also contributed a careful re- 
sume of all that was at that time known of the medicinal or other form 
of the internal employment of the human exci'eta; he premised his 
remarks by saying that while some persons sent to foreign countries 
and ransacked their woods and forests for medicines, there were others 
who sought their remedies nearer home, and did not disdain the em- 
ployment of the vilest excrements. " I am not speaking now," he re- 
marks, " of the excrements of animals, but of human ordure and 
human urine. We know," he continues, " that horse-dung is used for 
the cure of colic, pig-dung for checking internal hemorrhages, dog- 
dung or album Grsecum for angina, goose-dung for yellow jaundice, 
peacock-dung for vertigo, and goat-dung, in Courland beer, for malig- 
nant fevers. The Mexicans used human ordure as an antidote asrainst 


serpent bites in two-scruple doses, drunk in some convenient liquor : 
" De homerda contra venenatos Mexicano — serpeutis ictus — ad 3 ii. 
in convenienti liquore hausta " (p. 1 70). The same mixture was drunk 
by the Japanese, as a remedy against the wounds made by poisoned 
weapons : " De eadem mixtura sed e stei'core proprio confusa contra 
telorum venena Japonensibus pota." Observe that in this last case 
the ordure had to be that of the wounded man himself. 

Etmuller recommends its use in expelling from the system the virus 
of "napelli" wiiatever that may have been. To cure the plague, the 
patient was to consume a quantity equal in size to a filbert. To frus- 
trate the effects of incantation and witchcraft, it had to be drunk in 
oil. Used in the same manner, it was supposed to be of use in expel- 
ling worms: "De eadem mixtura, sed a stercore proprio," etc., as 
already quoted. " De stercore humano, sen recente seu arido, adsunto 
ad expugnandum napelli virus, etiam a nostratibus commendato, de 
quo vid. Etmuller, etc. ... In peste fuganda mane ad avellanas 
quantitatem devoraudo, ... ad morbos e fascino ex aceto propinato 
... ad expellendos vermes eodem modo usurpato." He alludes also 
to " Oletum " and the medicines made with it, as an ingredient ; but 
says he will leave " Zibethum " and " Occidental Sulphur " to Paracel- 
sus and the members of his school. He quotes Galen as recommending 
the drinking of the urine of a stout, healthy boy, as a preventive of the 
plague. " Urina pueri sani bibita . . . preservans apeste," quoting Galen, 
lib. X. "De Simp. Med. Fac." A draught of her husband's urine was 
of great assistance to a woman in uterine troubles : " Sic, in Bvctox^cl 
urinse maritalis haustum concelebrant alii." The urine of a chaste boy 
was much commended by many writers for internal use in drops}-, 
splenic inflammation, etc. " Sic urinam impolluti pueri quotidie potum, 
esse medicamentum laudabile et prajsentaneum, ad lienis morbos et 
hydropem." It would be useless to quote further in the words of the 
original. Lentilius goes on to say that a potion of one's own iirine 
was extolled in the treatment of the bites of snakes, vi^ounds by deadly 
weapons, incipient dropsy and consumption. 

To drink one's own urine for the space of three days was a sure cure 
for the yellow jaundice, also in preserving from the plague. But Von 
Helmont was of the opinion that in this last case its virtues were 
derived from the fact that it was a stimulant and served to keep up 
the spirits. By Etmuller, its use was strongly recommended in the 
treatment of the yellow jaundice, etc. (citing Etmuller). It was like- 
wise highly extolled by Avicenna. 


"We are next treated to a feast of big words, in which we leurn tliat 
on account of its " nitrosity " and " volatility," it was regarded as a 
"detersive," and "penetrative," while, on account of the alkali it con- 
tained, it was a neutralizer of the "fermenting acids," and therefore 
applicable in cardialgia, anorexia, gout, toothache, colic, yellow jaun- 
dice, and intermittent fevers, either the urine "of the patient himself 
or that of a wine-drinking boy." 

Boyle, the eminent philosopher, is quoted as saying that, in his 
opinion, the virtues of human urine, as a medicine, internally and ex- 
ternally, would require a volume by themselves. Boyle is also credited 
with having published a tract on this subject, in Leipzig, 1G92, over 
the signature "B." 

Lentilius devotes a number of pages of close, logical reasoning to 
demonstrate the fallacy of supposing that human excreta can be of any 
possible utility in therapeutics. According to his opinion, ]S'ature 
voided them from the body because the body had no further use for 
them ; therefore, their re-absorption could scarcely be other than 
deleterious ; this was all the more true in disease, because the patient 
being in a morbid state, that which he ejected could by no process of 
correct reasoning be regarded as healthy. This argument, although of 
great interest and value, is very long and pertains rather to the history 
of medicine proper than to this essay. 

Lentilius concludes by saying that no more cruel threat could be 
made than that of Sennacherib against the Jews that he would make 
them eat their own excrement and drink the water which bathed his 
feet : " Quani futurum esse, ut quisquis sua stercora voraturus, et 
aquam pedum suorum bibiturus sit." Esa. 36, ver. 12. "Vaemis- 
eris segrotis, quo rumores ad uriniB potum rediit." — (In "Ephem. 
Phys. Medic." Leipzig, 1694, vol. ii. pp. 169 to 176, inclusive; the 
pages are quarto, the number of words to the page about 375.) 

Lentilius has either stolen bodily from PauUini, or anticipated him ; 
he has all of Paullini's facts, but seems, in addition, to have been 
much of a philosopher, which Paullini was not. 

Christian Franz Paullini's "Filth Pharmacy," Frankfort, 1696, is 
better known than any other of the works cited, being in German, of 
small size, and confining itself almost exclusively to a recapitulation of 
diseases, with the appropriate excrementitious curative opposite each. 

Six different editions are contained in the Library of the U. S. Army 
Medical Museum, in Washington; of these, that of Frankfort, 1696 
(268 pages, duodecimo), was selected, and the work of translation en- 


trusted to Messrs. Smith and Pratz ; being perfectly familiar with Eng- 
lish and German, their interpretation, made slowly and carefuUj', may 
be relied on as minutely correct. 

Paulliui has done nothing beyond collecting his ample list of cases 
ill which the human and animal excreta were employed in the treat- 
ment of diseases ; he has iu no instance ventured upon an explana- 
tion of the z'eason for such use, such as Etmuller supplied. 

He treats of the employment of human ordure and urine, and animal 
excreta, in the following diseases : headache, insomnia, vertigo, demen- 
tia, melancholia, mania, gout, convulsions, palsy, epilepsy, sore eyes, 
cataract, ophthalmia, ear troubles, bleeding of the nose, nasal polypi, 
carious teeth, dropsy of the head, wens, asthmatic troubles, coughs, 
spitting of blood, consumption, pleurisy, fainting spells, diseases of the 
mammary glands, tumors, colic, abnormal appetite, worms, hernia, 
sciatica, ulceration of the bowels, constipation, diarrhoea, dysentery, 
obstructions of the liver, dropsy, jaundice, kidney troubles, gravel, 
stone, retention of urine, excessive flow of urine, impaired virilitj', 
swelling of the testicles, uterine displacements, menstrual troubles, 
sterility, accidents to pregnant women, miscarriages, difficult labor, 
pains after childbirth, gout of feet, rheumatism, fevers of all kinds, 
poisons, plague, syphilitic and venereal diseases, abscesses, sprains, con- 
tusions, bruises, wounds, ring-worm, felons, itch, freckles, as a cosmetic, 
for rash, tetter, loss of hair, lice, gangrene, colds, warts, fissure of the 
rectum, fistulas, corns, bunions, love-potions, and to baffle witchcraft. 

For headache, pigeon-dung was used internally, and the dung of a 
red cow and of the peacock, externally. 

Insomnia, donkey-dung, internally ; gout and pigeon dung, exter- 
nally. Human urine was also used for the same purpose (pp. 28, 29). 

Vertigo. Pigeon, peacock, and squirrel dung, all used internally. 

Dementia. Donkey-dung, externally. 

Melancholia. Calf or ox dung, internally ; owl-dung, externally. 

Mania. Human ordure, internally ; boy's urine, internally, and also 
owl's and chicken's dung, internally. 

Gout. Boy's urine, externally, and owl's, jenny's, horse's, cow's, 
deer's, and sow's dung, externally. 

Convulsions. Peacock and horse dung, externally. 

Palsy. Let the patient wash with his own urine or that of a young 
boy (pp. 28, 29) ; administer peacock's or horse's dung internally. 

For the cure of the dread disease, epilepsy, human ordure and the 
urine of boys were administered internally, and there were likewise in- 


ternal applications of the dung of horses, peacocks, mice, dogs, black 
cows, lions, storks, and wild hogs ; no external applications are noted 
for this disease (pp. 28, 29, 42, 43). 

Anotlier remedy for epilepsy was to take the excrements of a fine, 
healthy youth, dry them, and extract the oil by means of heat ; rectify 
this oil and take inwardly (pp. 42, 43). 

For inflamed and running eyes make a collyrium of the warm urine 
of young boys, mingled with other ingredients. Make an external ap- 
plication of boys' urine, or of the dung of swallows, pigeons, cows, 
goats, prairie hens, horses, lizards, doves. There was no internal ad- 
ministration of any of the above suggested. 

For ophthalmic troubles, the same treatment as the above. 

Cataract. Make an external application of human ordure, of boy's 
urine, or of the dung of wolves, green lizards, or geese. 

Earache or ringing in the ear, or abscesses. Apply the urine of 
young boys mixed with honey, or apply fresh human urine. 

Other ear troubles. External application of boy's urine or of the 
patient's own urine ; external application of the dung of the white 
goat, or pigeon's, cat's, deer's, rabbit's, jenny's, wild hog's or wolfs 

Bleeding at the nose. External application of dog's urine, of horse 
urine, or of the dung of calf, donkey, hog, cow, horse, camel, or 

Nasal polypi. Dung of dog or donkey, externally. 

Toothache or carious teeth. One's own ordure, or the dung of 
wolf, dog, raven, mouse, or horse, in all cases externally (pp. 52, 

Toothache. Apply a poultice of human excrement, mixed with 
camomile-flowers, to the cheek. 

Dropsy of the head. Take boy's urine internally. 

Croup and throat troubles generally. Boys' urine, both internally 
and externally ; a gargle and a potion of one's own urine ; and both 
internal and external applications of the white dung of dogs, gathered 
in July; or the dung of geese, pigeons, eagles, goats, owls, hens, or 

Asthmatic troubles. Salts of urine or pigeon's dung, externally. 

Coiighs. The dung of dogs, internalh', or the dung of geese ; the 
dung of ravens, deer, or sparrows, externally. 

Spitting of blood. The excreta of wild sows, doves, sheep, cows, 
horses, mice, dogs, or peacocks, internally. 


Consumption. The patient's ordure, internally ; his own or a boy's 
urine, or mice-dung, internally (pp. 74, 75). 

Another remedy for consumption was to let the patient drink a mix- 
ture of his own urine beaten up with fresh egg ; repeat for several 
successive mornings ; also, let him eat his own excrement (pp. 74, 

For pleurisy, we read that there was an external application of the 
patient's own urine, or that the dung of donkeys, horses, stallions, 
mares, hens, pigeons, and dogs was given internally. 

Fainting-spells. Human ordure, externally ; one's own urine, inter- 
nally ; cow-urine or the dung of horses, sheep, or birds, externally 

Diseases of the mammary glands. The dung of cows or mice, inter- 
nally, and also an external application of that of oxen, goats, hogs, dogs, 
cows, or pigeons. 

Cancer of the breast. The patient's own ordure internally, with ex- 
ternal applications of the dung of geese, cows, goats, or rabbits. 

Wens. External applications of the dung of cows, rats, mice, goats, 
sheep, geese, pigeons, or jennies. 

Colic. Human ordure, internally; "Eau de Millefleurs," internally 
(we know that "Eau de Millefleurs" was itself a composition of cow- 
dung) ; take bees internally (the only instance recorded of such a 
use of this insect), or the dung of horses, cats, swallows, or chickens, 

A youth in Leyden fell madly in love with a young girl, but could 
not get the consent of his parents to marry her. He was seized with 
a violent fever and constipation. In this desperate condition he im- 
agined that a drink of fresh urine from his beloved would benefit him ; 
he accordingly wrote to her, begging her to satisfy his longing, which 
she accordinglj'- granted, and after drinking of the beverage to his 
heart's content, he found immediate relief (whethpr from the constipa- 
tion or the passion Paullini neglects to state). — (Paullini, pp. 106, 

Abnormal appetite. The same remedies as are enumerated for 
colic, q. v. 

Worms. The patient's own urine, internally ; the dung of horses or 
cows or hogs, internally. 

Hernia. Rabbit-dung, internally. 

Sciatica. External application of the dung of goats, pigeons, horses, 
or chickens. 

Constipation. Human ordure, internally ; human urine, internally ; 


or the excreta of sows, mice, chickens, geese, sparrows, magpies, 
or pigeons internally. 

Diarrhoea. Dog-dung, internally; sow, donkey, or cow dung, 

Dysentery. The patient's own ordure or that of a boy, internally; 
human urine, internally; or the excreta of dogs, horses, hogs, crows, 
rabbits, donkeys, mules, or elephants, internally. 

Obstructions of the liver. Salts of urine, internally ; or the dung of 
geese, swallows, or deer, internally. 

Dropsy. Human ordure, internally ; the patient's own urine or that 
of a boy, internally ; or external applications of dung of geese, chickens, 
goats, donkeys, dogs, deer, horses, or sheep, internally. 

Kidney troubles. Human urine, both internally and externally ; 
goose-dung, internally ; sheep-dung, externally ; donkey or deer dung, 

Kidney diseases, stone in the bladder. Take internally human urine 
or water, distilled over human ordure, or the dried catamenia of 
women, or the scrapings of chamber-pots taken in brandy. — (Paullini, 
pp. 142, 143.) 

Gravel. The patient's own urine, internally ; or the dung of 
pigeons, rats, chickens, mice, wild hogs, or donkeys, both internally and 

Excessive urination. The dung of goats, mice, or wild hog, 

Difficult urination. The urine of a girl, internally ; the urine of the 
patient, both internally and externally ; the dung of sparrows, inter- 
nally; or the dung of donkeys, goats, chickens, geese, roosters, or 
pigeons, externally. 

Impaired virility and swelling of the testicles. The dung of prairie 
hens, or that of sparrows, internally; or the dung of rabbits, bulls, 
cows, or goats, externally. 

Uterine displacements. Human ordure, internally ; the dung of fal- 
cons, horses, or bulls, internally, or the dung of sows, donkeys, or sheep. 
Human excrement was applied outwardly in treatment of falling of the 
womb ; this was also considered a good method of treating inflamma- 
tion of the vagina ; stale urine and the steam of old socks, and asses' 
dung, was applied outwardly. The scrapings of chamber vessels was 
taken inwardly, mixed with other ingredients (pp. 154, 155). 

For menstrual troubles menstrual blood was administered internally ; 
the urine of boys, internally ; the excreta of donkeys and rabbits, 


both internally and externally ; and those of hogs, rats, and horses, 

For cessation of the menses. Take internally pulverized menses 
dried, and wear a chemise smeared with human blood (most probably 
the chemise of a woman who had been more fortunate in her purga- 
tion) ; or boil boys' urine and garlic together, and inhale the steam 
(p. 158). 

Gout, rheumatism. The patient's own urine, both internally and 
externally ; the urine of boys, externally ; the dung of mice or rab- 
bits, internally ; the excreta of cows, bulls, calves, donkeys, pigeons, 
peacocks, storks, dogs, goats, or wild hogs, externally. 

Another remedy for gout and rheumatism was the excreta of chick- 
ens, dogs, or cocks, internally. 

Tertiary fever. Human ordure and urine, internally ; the excreta 
of sows, donkeys, chickens, and swallows, and the white dung of dogs, 

Quaternary fever. The ordure of infants, internally ; the urine of 
an old woman, mixed with donkey-dung, externally \ the dung of geese 
gathered in j\Iay, of dogs, of sparrows, chickens, and sheep, internally ; 
and cat-dung, externally. 

Malignant fevers. The urine of the patient, internally ; the urine 
of a jenny, internall}' ; the dung of a red cow, of a reindeer, horse, 
sheep, or goat, internally; no external applications in this case. 

Antidotes for poisons. Human ordure internally, and human urine 
both internally and externally ; the excreta of hogs, ducks, swallows, 
goats, calves, or chickens, internally ; of pigeons, cows, sheep, donkeys, 
and horses, externally. 

Plague. Human ordure and urine, internally ; bull-dung, internally ; 
the dung of cows, chickens, or pigeons, externally. 

Syphilis and venereal diseases. Human urine, internally, also ex- 
ternally ; and the excreta of horses and dogs, externally. 

Abscesses and sprains. The urine of boys, externally ; the excreta 
of cows, goats, dogs, pigeons, chickens, camels, geese, externally ; or of 
the wild hog, both internally and externally. 

Boils. Human ordure and urine, externally ; the dung of chickens, 
pigeons, goats, dogs, cows, bulls, sheep, or foxes, externally. 

"Wounds. Human ordure and urine, externally ; the excreta of dogs 
and goats, internally ; or of cows, pigeons, chickens, donkeys, and 
sheep, externally. 

Ringworm, felons. Human ordure, externally ; menstrual blood, 


externally ; the excreta of geese, cows, sows, cats, sheep, goats, or 
chickens, exterually. 

Itch, freckles, rash, tetter, etc. Geese-dung, internally; the excreta 
of donkeys, dogs, chickens, crocodiles, foxes, or pigeons, externally. 

Loss of hair, lice. Human urine, externally ; the excreta of pigeons, 
cats, rats, mice, swallows, geese, rabbits, or goats, externally. 

Gangrene. The urine of a virgin, externally ; the white dung of 
chickens, or horse-dung, externally. 

Colds. Human ordure and urine, externally ; the excreta of sheep, 
cows, bulls, chickens, hogs, pigeons, or horses, externally. 

Warts. The patients own urine, externally ; the excreta of dogs, 
sheep, camels, goats, cows, calves, or of a black dog, externally. 

Fissure of the rectum, bunions, coi'ns. The excreta of dogs, hogs, 
sheep, pigeons, chickens, goats, mice, or of cows, gathered in May, 

Fistula. Human ordure, externally ; the dung of dogs and mice, 

Yellow jaundice. Take internally the oil of human excrements, or 
drink human urine for nine days (pp. 1 32, 1 33). 

Bloody flux. Human excrements dried, taken internally, are of gi*eat 
benefit (pp. 108, 109). 

Insomnia. Take the " Spiritus Urinae " internally. 

Fits or spasms. Take the urine of young boys internally (pp. 28 
and 29.) 

" Take an old rusty piece of iron, be it a horse-shoe or anything 
else ; lay it on the fire until it be red-hot ; then take it out of the fire 
and let the patient make water upon it and take the fume thereof at 
his nose and mouth, using this three days together, and it will cure 
him (of yellow jaundice)." — ("The Poor Man's Physician," John 
Moncrief, Edinburgh, 1716, p. 174.) 

" For running ulcers of the head . . . bathe the whole head with 
old urine." — (Idem, p. 66.) 

"To provoke flow of urine . . . neat's dung, mixt with honey, 
made hot, applied to the share bone." — (Idem, p. 133.) 

For stone in bladder, "mouce-dung drunk." — (Idem, p. 134.) 

"The dung, flesh, and haire of a hare drunk." — (Idem, p. 131.) 

** Goat's-dung drunk . . . for the space of three days." (Jaundice.) 
— (Idem, p. 116.) 

" Goat's-dung, if drunk, brought back the catamenia." — (Idem, 
p. 141.) 


"Goose and hen dung, drunk with the best wine, miraculously 
cureth sudden sutfocations of the mother." — (Idem, p. 144.) 

" For a perverse or froward mother (i. e., womb), apply stinking 
smells to the privities, and sweet smells to the nose." — (Idem, 
pp. 144, 151.) 

" For the squinsy . . . take the dung of a hog, newly made and as 
hot as you can get it, . . . apply to the place, and it cureth." 

— (Idem, p. 172.) 

"For all imposthemes . . . the dung of a goose which had first 
fasted three days, and then fed on an eel before being killed," was 
applied externally. — (Idem, p. 180.) 

" For swellings behind the ears, . . . goat-dung, boiled," was ap- 
plied as a plaster, — (Idem, p. 84.) 

For boils, carbuncles, etc., "an emplaister made of the dung of a 
peacock cureth faithfully," — (Idem, p. 1G3.) 

"For the cure of fistula, ' man's-dung and pepper' were to be ap- 
plied externally; goat's-dung externally ; dove's-dung was to be drunk 
in goat's-milk ; the juice of cow-dung, in wine, was to be cast into the 
fistula, and a plaster of the same was to be applied." — (Idem, 
pp. 165, 166.) 

" Qui mane jejune, per novem dies, bibit propriam urinam non pati- 
etur epilepsiam, paralysim, nee colicam, et qui bibit propriam urinam 
sanabitur a sumpto veneno." — (Idem, pp. 169, 170.) 

" D'apres le t^moignage de Charles Lancilotti, I'acqua di stereo 
humane pigliata in una calante por lo spation di nuove gionii sana 
quelH ehe patiscono il male caduco." (Voyez Guida alia Chimica.) 

— ("Bib. Scatalogica," p. 29.) 

Schurig's " Chylologia," published in Dresden, 1725, contains cita- 
tions from nearly seven hundred authorities. As these are nearly all 
of very ancient date, and only in a few cases accessible to scholars 
restricted to American libraries, this learned work of Schurig becomes 
all the more valuable to such as desire to study intelligently and 
profoundly this subject of the use of human and animal excreta in 
religious rites or in religious medicine. 

Some of the writers quoted by Schurig favor, others oppose the 
medical employment of the human excretions. Among those in favor 
of it, according to him, may be seen the names of Galen and Dioscor- 
ides. In Schurig's day there seems to have been much opposition 
developing, especially when other remedies were available ; although 
Schurig says that the Dutch soldiers returning from the Indies spoke 


iu praise of what they had seen there of the use of such medicaments. 
Among European practitioners, human ordure was employed alone, 
mixed with water or other ingredients, or a water and an oil were 
distilled from it. 

It would be a useless task to repeat the names of all the authorities 
mentioned by this learned German, or to give in detail all the pre- 
scriptions in which the alvine dejecta figure as components. Their 
insertion here would add nothing to the value of these notes, as they 
are strictly pharmaceutical in their spirit ; it may, however, be of 
some interest to the student to learn just what diseases were supposed 
to be amenable to this course of treatment, and just how the curatives 
were to be administered. 

For angina pectoris, the ordure passed by a young boy after eating 
lupines, to be taken internally (p. 758). For the same disease there 
were other recipes for ordure in pills, plasters, and decoctions, as well 
as for electuaries of ordure, to be blended with honey (p. 756). 

For bringing boils, ulcers, etc., to a head, for sprains, luxations, 
etc., a poultice of human oi'dure, applied hot, was considered the best 
specific (p. 757). 

For rheumatic gout, a hot poultice of human ordure was considered 
of value (p. 757). 

Renal calculi. " Aqua ex stercore distillata" was given internally 
(p. 757). For cancers and malign ulcers, human ordure was used as 
a local poultice ; also given internally, in pills or powders. Pope 
Benedict was cured of a cancer by this treatment (pp. 758, 759). 

Epilepsy. Peacock-dung was used internally in conjunction with 
human ordure (p. 762). 

Erysipelas was treated with a poultice of human ordure (p. 762). 
" Oleum ex stercore distillatum " was also given internally (p. 762). 

Cicatrices, small-pox pustules. Bathe with " aqua ex stercore dis- 
tillata" (p. 760). 

Gangrene, cured by application of warm ordure and urine (p. 763). 

Dropsy; use *'aqua ex stercore distillata" internally (p. 764). 

Yellow jaundice, by human ordure drunk in wine (p. 764). Here 
he quotes Paullini, and others with whom we are already familiar. 

Piles. Plaster of human ordure (p. 766). The same method of 
treatment for tumors (p. 777). 

Ping- worm and other skin diseases. Use " oleuta ex stercore " 
internally (p. 766). 



Inflammation of the breasts of young mothers; local application 
of human ordure (p. 767). 

Burns and scalds. "Aqua ex stercore" locally (p. 760). Inflam- 
mations, ditto (p. 766). 

Dysentery. "Aqua ex stercore" internally (p. 761), quoting 

Empyematis. "Oleum ex stercore," internally (p. 761). 

Epilepsy. " Cured and prevented by " excrement, iufantis," inter- 
nally (p. 761). 

For all fevers. Ordure, mixed with honey, intenially, quoting 
Paullini (pp. 762, 763). 

Fistula in ano or in lachryma. Local application of human ordure 
(p. 763). 

Birth-marks were effaced by a plaster of human ordure, or of me- 
conium (p. 771). 

Ophthalmia, cataract, etc. Human ordure, applied as a plaster. 
Also, "aqua ex stercore distillata," internally (p. 771). 

Toothache. Plaster of human ordure, mixed with powdered cham- 
omile flowers, quoting Paullini (p. 772). 

(Edema. Plaster of human ordure and of cow-dung (p. 772). 

Felons. Plaster of human ordure. Also, one of the same, mixed 
with assafoetida, quoting Paullini (p. 772). 

Hysteria. Human ordure, drunk in wine (p. 773). 

Bites of mad dogs, serpents, and all wild animals. Ordure, or 
"oleum ex stercore distillatum," or "aqua ex stercore distillata," in- 
ternally (pp. 767, 768). 

In the island of Manilla, human ordure was held in such high esti- 
mation as a remedy for the cure of the bites of all venomous animals, 
that it was carried fresh, or dessicated, in little pyxes or pouches sus- 
pended from the neck, ready for instant use. An example is given, 
on the authority of a Franciscan friar, for years a missionaiy in that 
country, of a man so bitten, and so near death that he could not open 
his mouth, whose teeth were pried asunder, and this remedy inserted. 
He recovered immediately. 

Human ordure was also used internally, in Mexico, for the cure 
of serpent bites, as we have learned previously from other sources, 
(p. 767.) 

For worms in the head. " Oleum ex stercore distillatum," applied 
locally (p. 777). 

Poisons. Human ordure, internally (pp. 777, 778). 


For wounds occasioned by poisoned weapons, in the island of Ma- 
cassar, human ordure was administered internally, until vomiting was 
induced. The same treatment was observed in Armenia, while in 
Celebes it was the recognized antidote against vegetable poisons, 
quoting Paullini (pp. 778, 779). 

Plague. Human ordure and human urine were mixed together, 
and taken internally, to cure or prevent the plague. Human ordure 
was also taken alone, in the form of pills, and applied to plague buboes 
as a plaster. Schurig says he personally knew a certain clergyman in 
Dresden, in 1680, who took such pills with good effect (p. 775). 

Scabs and tetter, local applications of "oleum ex stercore distil." 
(p. 776). 

Pleurisy, "01. ex sterc. dist.," internally (p. 774). 

Gout. Human ordure as a plaster, and also internally (p. 775) ; here 
he again cites Paullini, among others not known to us. 

SCHURIG's ideas regarding the use in medicine of the EGEST.E 


Schurig devotes the fourteenth chapter of his work to a treatise "De 
Stercoribus Brutorum." It is unnecessary to enter much into detail 
upon this point ; it will be sufficient to give only a small number of 
the recipes, with notes upon the manner of administering, and, where 
possible, the opinions expressed in regard to their efficacy. 

From these we may be enabled to form some idea of the line of medi- 
cal thought of the ancient practitioners. 

Beginning with goose-dung, we find it commended as warm and 
drying in its effects ; an aperient and endowed with power over the 
menses ; also over the after-birth and urine ; and hence of value in 
jaundice, scurvy, and dropsy. It was also employed in many other 
diseases, principally in fevers, in whooping-cough, in cachexy, liver 
troubles, and when applied externally as a plaster, was of such value 
in the treatment of sore eyes that the Emperor Maximilian resorted 
to its use with the greatest advantage ; again, applied as a plaster, it 
was used in angina and in mammary cancer. The dung of young 
geese was regarded as the best, and it should be gathered when possi- 
ble in the early spring, preferably in the month of March, while 
still " green," on the meadows ; most of the old prescriptions insist 
upon this, as will be seen from the sample given in this paragraph. 

The dose of the dried powder was from half a dram to a full dram. 


find it was administered in wine, or mixed with cinnamon and sugar. 
It was frequently combined with hen-dung, or dihited with the 
urine of she-goats or he-calves. Some practitioners doubted whether 
it was superior to dove-dung for the same diseases. When used in 
whooping-cough or throat swellings, it was placed under the tongue 
of the patient. The following are the words with which Schurig begins 
his panegyric upon its virtues : — 

" Calefacit et siccat veheraenter ; incidit, aperit ; menses, secundinas, 
et urinas potenter movet ; hinc maxirai usus est in morbo regio, scor- 
buto, et hydrope." 

Stercor. Anserin. vera. temp, collect, et in Sole exsic. 

Pull. Gallinac. — ana. 3i. 

Absinth. 9ii. 

Cinnamoni. Qi. 

Sacchar. §ij. — M. ft. Pul v. subtil iss. 

Asses' dung was considered by Schurig to be an especially good 
remedy in all diseases of hemorrhage. *' Singulare remedium contra 
quamvis haemorrhagias " (p. 800) ; but it had to be collected in the 
month of May ; " Stercus asininum in Majo collectum." It was to be 
taken in doses of one or more drachms, or only the juice squeezed from 
it into some medicinal water. 

Dried in the sun, or in a warm place, it was good for bleeding at the 
nose ; " ad solera vel in loco calido exsiccetnr et fiat pulvis qui per 
nares attractus subito illarum haemorrhagias compescit." It was re- 
garded as an infallible remedy for restraining an excessive menstrual 
flow. " Infallibile remedium ad constringendum flnxum menstruum 
esse stercus asininum . . . asserit Johannes Petrus Albrechtus." 

This dung was also in great vogue in all cases of uterine inflamma- 
tion, applied locally as a plaster. It was administered both internally 
and externally for gout of the feet, and used as a component of a 
plaster for dropsy. It was given internally for colic. Collected in the 
month of May, it was administered internally to dissolve calculi. 
" Stercus bubulum mense Majo collectum miram prpcbet aquam adver- 
8US Calculos, quos solvit et una urinam movet, quam nigram prima die 
pellit, calculis vehementer attritis. H?ec aqua in ofiicinis vocatur om- 
nium florum." This water, known ofiicinally as " water of all-flowers," 
was used in attacks of plague, and in cases of gangrene, inflammation, 
rheumatism, etc. ; also in dropsy and in cancerous ulcers (p. 800 
et seq.). 


Schurig devotes considerable space to the dung of dogs, called by 
some " Flowers of Melampius," and by others by the " more honest 
name of album Graecum." "Stercus caninum, quod nonnulli flores 
Melampi, pharmacopoei autem bouestiore nomine album Graecum vo- 
cunt (to differentiate it from the black, which was the dung of mice), 
ad differentiam nigri, quod est muscerda" (p. 803). 

He believed that it was in its effects " drying, cleansing, solvent, 
an aperient, a dissipater of swellings, such as carbuncles, a solver of 
ulcers, — hence useful in dysentery, in epilepsy, colic, and such com- 
plaints, as well as in angina, guttse, malignant ulcers, hard tumors, 
dropsy, warts, etc." " Siccat, abstergit, discutit, aperit, apostemata 
rumpit, exulceratione abstergit, hiuc utile est in Dyseuteria, quin etiam 
in Epilepsia, dolore colico, et similibus ; " also " in anginee, gutturi, ul- 
ceribus malignis, tumores duros, hydropicas, veiTucas, etc." Also in 
fistulas, inflammation of the tonsils, etc. It was applied externally 
to malignant ulcers by being sprinkled upon them, or as a plaster ; 
applied also as a plaster in dropsy. It was used in combination with 
the dung of swallows (*' stercus hirundinum "), or of owls (" noctuse ") 
Used as a gargle in throat trouble (pp. 803-807). 

" Album Grsecum " was considered best when obtained from " white " 
dogs, as they were supposed to have the soundest constitutions. This 
was especially the case in the treatment of epilepsy (p. 80). Here we 
have a very decided trace of " Color Symbolism," 

" Album Grsecum " was taken, preferentially, from dogs which, for 
at least three days previously, had been nourished on hard bones, with 
the least possible amount of water to drink ; such dung was hard, white, 
and of faint odor, " durum, album, nee graviter olet." Some of the 
prescriptions call for the dung of a fasting dog ; "stercum canis per 
jejunium emaciati " (p. 806). 

Schurig tells us that the dung of the goat was used both internally 
and externally in medicine. It was believed to be efficacious in the 
expulsion of calculi, in the reduction of hard tumors, in the dissipation 
of tetter, ring- worm, scald, leprosy, abscesses behind the ears, bites of 
serpents and other wild animals, in the restriction of excessive cata- 
menial flow, etc. It was applied as a plaster in the treatment of tu- 
mors in the limbs, swellings of the testicles, in gout, cedema, cancer, 
inflammatory rheumatism, carbuncles, atrophy of the muscles, tumors 
in the mammse, etc. But when made into a plaster, was frequently 
mixed with the patient's own urine (p. 809). 

Schurig pronounces it a rubefacient ; it was of use in alleviating 


rheumatic pains, headache, vertigo, pains in side, shoulders, brain, and 
loins, colic, apoplexy, lethargy ; it was supposed to be able to dissolve 
scrofulous and all other tumors, and was beneficial in the treatment of 
gout ; used internally, it expelled dropsical water through the urine 
and also dissolved calculi ; as a plaster, it was used in the cure of the 
bites of mad dogs ; likewise for scald head ; internally, the Austrian 
midwives employed it in the treatment of hysteria ; while, through- 
out Germany, it was administered in cases of suppression of the menses 
(p. 809 €t seq.). 

As to horse-dung, Schurig has to say that either it or the juice 
extracted from it was drunk to aid in easing the pains of colic, to assist 
in the expulsion of the placenta, or of a dead foetus, or in cases of stran- 
gulation of the uterus ; externally, it was believed to be serviceable in 
restraining eruptions of the blood. To be of the greatest medicinal 
value, this dung should be taken from a stallion fed on oats. It was 
regarded as of great value in developing small-pox pustules upon women 
and children (p. 812 et seq.). 

A rustic remedy which seems to have had a wide dissemination, for 
the alleviation of the cramp-colic, was composed of the juice expressed 
from horse-dung, mixed with warm beer, taken internally, while at the 
same time there was applied to the region of the umbilicus a plas- 
ter of warm horse-dung and hot ashes ; such a plaster was employed 
in the cure of pleurisy among the English. In the same disease a 
mixture of warm horse-dung and beer was taken both internally and 

Cat-dung, in wine, formed the remedy in cases of vertigo and epi- 
lepsy. While its use was recommended principally in external appli- 
cations, there were not wanting those who relied upon it mainly in 
internal application. It was reputed to possess especial efficacy in 
loss of hair, and supposed to be serviceable in preventing baldness, 
applied as an unguent. Administered internally, it suppi-essed immod- 
erate menstrual flow. For the cure of felons, which so many in those 
days believed to be occasioned by a small worm, it was of certain effi- 
cacy, if bound round the afflicted thumb or finger. Paullini is quoted 
as having had personal experience with felons thus cured. But Paul- 
lini himself was of opinion that the dung of the goose was of equal 
value with that of the cat in this case (p. 815). 

Hen-dung was recommended for use in burns. It was regarded as 
beneficial against magic philters, "in specie ex sanguine menstruo 
foemineo." It was considered good for all those ailments for which 


dove-dung was prescribed, but was not quite so efficacious. It was ex- 
cellent for colic, for uterine pangs, yellow jaundice, calculus, suppres- 
sion of urine, for all pains in the bowels, for strangling of the womb 
and pains therein, for poison, witchcraft, for seat-worms, etc. Exter- 
nally, it was applied for all sores in the eyes, ulcers, warts, cicatrices, 
piles, pains in the feet and arms (pp. 816, 817). 

Swallow-dung is mentioned as of internal and external application. 
It was regarded of great efficacy in the treatment of mad-dog bites, 
quarternary fevers, colic, inflammation of the kidneys, etc. It was ap- 
plied as a plaster in cases of headache, angina, inflammation of the ton- 
sils, and as a suppository in relaxation of the rectum. Its efficacy was 
conceded in dyeing the hair, being invaluable when used frequently as 
an unguent. Etmuller is quoted as expressing the opinion that they 
owe their action to the presence of " Armoniacal " salts. The swallow's 
nest, with all its contents, was also sometimes ground up into a plaster, 
and swallow-dung itself was occasionally substituted for "album 
Grsecum" (pp. 817 et seq.). 

Lion-dung exerted its potency in cases of difficult labor, and it was 
the panacea against epilepsy and apoplexy. One of the Grand Dukes 
of Austria was cured of epilepsy by its use. Preference was given to 
the excrement of a female lion, except where she had just brought 
forth young. An anti-epileptic remedy of great repute was composed 
of burnt crow's-nest, burnt tortoise, burnt human skulls, linden-tree 
bark, and lion-dung, made into an infusion by long digestion in spirits 
of wine (pp. 819, 820). 

Leopard's dung dissolved calculi ; was taken as a potion for the cure 
of dysentery ; applied as a plaster for the cure of burns ; hernia was 
cured by a bolus composed of leopard's dung, human mummy, burnt 
worms, syrup, and other ingredients. The ashes of the dung, skin, 
and hair of the leopard, in combination, expelled calculi. This remedy 
should be drunk, dissolved in wine ; it was also a sure remedy for the 
most obstinate cases of colic. It was applied externally in sciatica, 
also in constriction of the vulva, and was employed to facilitate con- 
ception. In the last-named instance pastilles (trochisci) were like- 
wise made and the parts fumigated. Or a pessary was inserted and 
kept in place for three days and nights ; " et quamvis antea sterilis 
fuerit, deinceps tamen concipiet." To prevent falling out of eye- 
lashes and eye-brows, an ointment was prepared of which the dung of 
the leopard was an ingredient. Finally, it was in esteem as an aphro- 
disiac, and to expel wind from the womb (p. 820). 


Wolf-dung, druuk in wine, or taken as a powder, iu doses of one 
scruple or more, was used iu the treatment of the colic. PauUini is 
quoted as recommending its use in fevers. The dung of wolves, as 
of dogs, should, if possible, be that which is white in color, dejected by 
animals which have been feeding upon bones, and deposited upon 
rocks, thorns, bushes, or the lower branches of trees, but not on the 
ground. It was employed internally iu pains in the limbs, and admin- 
istered, also internally, in form of powder, iu attacks of vertigo. 
Desiccated, it was blown into eyes afflicted with cataract. The cavities 
of carious teeth were filled with wolf-dung, to ease the pains of tooth- 
ache. For nasal hemorrhage, the smoke of burning wolf-dung was 
snuffed up into the nostrils ; but another prescription was to drink an 
infusion of wolf-Jung in red wine. If sheep detected the odor of wolf- 
dung about their paddocks, or folds, they would behave as if bewitched, 
running from side to side, bleating and showing as much terror as if 
their arch-enemy, the wolf, was himself at hand. Knowing this fact, 
rascally mountebanks were wont to perpetrate tricks upon the ignorant 
and unsuspecting rustics, by secreting some of this dung in the stable 
with the ewes and lambs, frightening them out of their wits, and then 
persuading their masters that their flocks were suffering from some 
hidden ailment for the cure of which they would demand a big fee in 
money or fat sheep. 

Schurig recommends the use of mouse-dung, both internally and ex- 
ternally, for various disorders, for constipation in children, for scald 
head, and dandruff, in which cases it was applied as an ointment, for 
the elimination of calculi in kidneys and bladder, for all swellings iu 
the fundament, piles, warts, tumors in ano, hemorrhages of the lungs, 
for the suppression of the menses, and even to excite the growth of the 
beard. When taken internally, it was administered in broth, milk, or 
panada ; externally, it was made into a plaster with butter and such 
ingredients. It was at times mixed with the dung of sparrows (p. 823 
et seq.). 

Sheep-dung figures in medicinal preparations, to be used either in- 
ternally or externally. Internally, as a decoction, in yellow jaundice, 
obstructions and constipation of the bowels, and iu small-pox. Also 
as a specific in the cure of gonorrhoea, when given in form of pills. 
For pains in the intestines, for swellings, burns, and ingrowing toe- 
nails, it was applied as a plaster (p. 826 et seq.). 

Peacock-dung, the great specific in all cases of epilepsy and vertigo, 
was administered in doses of one dram, and in France was held in 


high repute for such purposes. It should be used from the new to the 
full moon, and be taken in white wine (p. 828). 

This paragraph about the medicinal value of the droppings of the 
peacock deserves more than a cursory glance ; in it we have a strong 
suggestion of the former association of this bird with moon worship. 
The peacock, we know, was the bird that drew the car of Juno, and 
that goddess was as much a lunar deity as Diana. 

Pig-dung or swine-dung appears as one of the remedies, of both 
internal and external application, for nasal hemorrhage, and uterine 
flux. For nasal hemorrhages, it was dried and reduced to powder, and 
drawn up into the nostrils as a sort of snuff. Applied, externally, 
wai-m, to the vulva, it was regarded as an aid in hemorrhage of the 
uterus ; it was also given internally for the same purpose. It was not 
used exclusively for such hemorrhages, but had a great repute as a 
styptic in general, and was applied to wounds of all descriptions. It 
was therefore used both externally and internally for the suppression 
of excessive menstrual flow, and taken internally to restrain spitting of 
blood. It was of general use in the treatment of felons, and was also 
regarded as an invaluable febrifuge. 

For nasal hemorrhage, it was occasionally bound round the temples. 
Oddly enough, it was believed to be a remedy for fetor of breath. 
"Alii miscent stercus porcinum exsiccatum, cum pulvere rosarum pro 
corrigendo foetore " (p. 830 et seq.). 

As an external application for tumors of all kmds, cow-dung had a 
host of advocates, who likewise extended its use to the cure of scrofu- 
lous sores. For scrofulous wens, there was a cataplasm made of a com- 
position of various dungs, — those of the cow, goat, and doves, among 
others. This was also to be taken internally, in white wine. 

A plaster of cow-dung was used in gout of the feet. The dung of 
grass-fed cows was considered excellent for tumors, etc. ; but its effi- 
cacy was increased when mixed with cow-urine or the urine of the 
patient himself; this was also in request for the treatment of oedema. 
For the stings of bees and wasps, a plaster of cow-dung was frequently 
used : " Contra apum et vesparum ictus, stercus vaccinum cum aceto 
utiliter adhibetur " (p. 837). The dung of a black cow, burned and 
given in scruple doses to a newly born child, preserved it from epilepsy 
and consumption ; it was also employed to mitigate the pains of den- 
tition. The dung of bulls and cows, collected in the month of May, 
distilled with water, made a panacea for kidney diseases; it also ex- 
pelled calculi and induced a flow of urine. 


" Haec aqua vocatur aqua omnium florum," was employed both in- 
ternally and externally in gangrene, inflammations, rheumatism, spasms, 
dropsy, suppression of urine, etc., and was used externally to remove 
freckles and as a general cosmetic. — (" Chylologia," p. 835 et seq.) 

In the "Complete English Physician," London, 1730, there arc 
recipes which include the dung of geese, dogs, doves, horses, peacocks, 
hogs, and cows. 

In the " Complete English Dispensator}' " of John Quincy, London, 
1730, p. 307, under the head "Distillation of Urine," it is alleged that 
the salts obtained from the urine " of a sound yoxnig man, newly 
made," was beneficial in rheumatism and ai-thritis. " Urina hominis, — 
urine of a man. Some have got a notion of this being good for the 
scurvy, and drink their own water for that end, but I cannot see with 
what reason. Some commend it boiled into the consistence of honey, 
for rheumatic paint, rubbing it onto the part affected ; in which case 
it may do good, because it cannot but be very penetrating. . . . Urina 
vaccse, — cow piss. Some drink this as a purge. It will operate vio- 
lently, but it is practised only among the ordinary people, and has 
nothing in its virtues to prefer it to more convenient and cleanly medi- 
cines, any more than the former " (pp. 248, 249) 

Father Du Halde says of camel's dung : " When it is dried and re- 
duced to a powder, it will stop bleeding of the nose by being blown 
into it." — (Chinese recipes given in Du Halde's " History of China," 
London, 1736, vol. iv. p. 34.) 

" The dung (of sheep) is a prevalent medicine against the jaundice, 
dropsy, cholick, pleurisy, spleen, stone, gravel, scurvy, etc., taken either 
in powder, tincture, or decoction. The dung, made into a cataplasm 
with caniphire, sal armoniack, and a little wine, opens, digests, at- 
tenuates and eases pain. It is excellent in abscesses about the ears 
and other emunctories, swellings in women's breasts, pain of the spleen, 
and gout." — (Pomet, " History of Drugs," English translation, Lon- 
don, 1738, p. 256.) 

The rare and erudite pamphlet of Samuel Augustus Flemming, " De 
Remediis ex Corpore Humano desumtis," Erfurt, 1738, although con- 
taining not more than thirty-two pages, is filled with a mass of curious 
information upon subjects generally disregarded. Flemming remarks 
that those who could use urine, calculi, and things of that kind in 
medical practice, should not shrink from the employment of ordure as 
well. " And it is truly wonderful," he says, " that a substance, the 
very aspect and odor of which are sufficient to induce an inevitable 


nausea, should be regarded not merely as a matter of curiosity and 
study, but held in the highest repute as a unique and most precious 
treasure for the preservation of health." 

Yet Paracelsus, and "others of his school, knowing the natural re- 
pugnance to the acceptance of such medicines, prepared it under the 
name of " Zibethum Occidentalis," and administered it in doses of 
from one to two drams, given in honey or wine, to ward off attacks of 
fever ; by others, it was employed as a plaster in cases of throat- 
inflammation, being then called " Aureum." Others again were of the 
opinion, from an examination of its chemical nature, that it was fairly 
entitled to a place in the Materia Medica. An oil and water were dis- 
tilled from it, and used in ocular sores, corrosive ulcers, and all sorts 
of fistulas ; for affections of the scalp, for the ulcers of erysipelas, for 
ring-worm and tetter, and especially the pains of gout. Finally, it was 
believed by many to be of exceptional efficacy in the cure of the plague, 
being taken internally. 

" Qui urina, calculi et aliis delectantur, non a stercore ipso abhorre- 
bunt," etc. The full citation in Latin need not be repeated, as it is 
expressed in much the same manner as the views of Schurig, Paulini, 
Etmuller, Beckherius, and others on the same subject. He cites 
Zacutus Lusitanus Poterus and Johannes Anglicanus, neither of whose 
writings are to be found in America. 

Speaking of human urine, Flemming says that physicians boasted 
not only of their ability to diagnose disease from urine, but to use the 
fluid itself in the treatment of disease. It was employed in two ways : 
either in the raw state, as emitted from the person in due course of 
nature, or in chemical preparations extracted from it. It was often 
administered -with beneficial results in dropsy as an enema. In diffi- 
cult labor, a draught of the husband's urine taken warm brought easy 
and safe delivery. 

A drink of the patient's own urine was highly commended in hys- 
teria. As an external application for the eradication of dandruff", scab, 
and other scalp troubles, it was held in high esteem among the com- 
mon people. 

A salt and a spirit were prepared from urine by distillation, and 
highly spoken of in the treatment of frenzy, mania, and kindred mental 
infirmities of a grave type. 

Flemming quotes from Beckherius, whose writings have already 
been presented, and from Quercetanus, in " Pharmac. dogmat.," 
p. 119. 


(" De Remediis ex Corpore Humano desumtis," Samuel Augustus 
Fleiuming, Erfurt, p. 24 et seq.) 

In the " Physiological Memoirs of Surgeon-Geueral Hammond, U. S. 
Army," New York, 1863, a chapter is devoted to ursemic intoxication, 
or tlie exhilaration produced by the entrance into the blood of urine, 
either injected or abnormally absorbed. This part of the subject 
should be carefully scrutinized by medical experts, whose determina- 
tions may make known whether or not the drunken frenzy of the Zufii 
dancers could be attributed to the unnatural beverage exclusively or 
to that in combination with other intoxicants. 

Dunglison says : " Human urine was at one time considered aperi- 
ent ; and was giveu in jaundice in the dose of one or two ounces. 
Cow's urine, urina vaccae, all-flower water, was once used, warm from 
the cow, as a purge." — (" Dunglison's Medical Dictionary," Philadel- 
phia, Pa., 18G0, article " Urine.") 

In the " Lancet," October, 1880, p. 56, Mr. G. F. Masterman draws 
attention to the chemical analysis of beef tea, and shows that it is 
analogous to urine, excepting that it contains less urea and uric acid. 
"Many writers have endeavored to impress the public and the profes- 
sion with the true value of beef tea, viz., that it is not a nutrient but 
a stimulant, and that it mainly contains excrementitious materials." — 
("Beef Tea, Liebig's Extract, Extractum Carnis, and Urine," Richard 
Neale, M. D., in the " Practitioner," London, November, 1881, p. SIS 
et seq.) 

"In South America urine is a common vehicle for medicine, and 
the urine of little boys is spoken highly of as a stimulant in malignant 
small-pox. Among the Chinese and Malays of Batavia urine is very 
freely used. One of the worst cases of epistaxis ceased after a pint of 
fresh urine was drunk, although it had for thirty-six hours or more 
resisted every form of European medicine. This was by no means an 
unusual result of the use of urine, as I was informed by many of the 
natives. ... As a stimulant and general pick-up, I have frequently 
seen a glass of child's or a young girl's urine tossed off with great gusto 
and apparent benefit. The use of urate of ammouia and guano was 
noticed by Bauer in 1852, who found their external use of value in 
phthisis, lepra, morphoa), and other obstinate skin diseases. Dr. 
Hasting's report of the value of the excreta of reptiles in 1862, in 
the treatment of phthisis, will also be fresh in the recollection of the 
older members of the profession." — (Idem.) 

Some of the tribes of Central Africa use human urine as an invigor- 


ant during the fever season, much as Europeans employ quhiino. — 
(Rev. Mr. Chatelain, missionary in Angola, Africa.) 

" The people of Angola apply fresh urine to all cuts and bruises." — 
('* Muhongo," African boy from Angola, West Africa, in personal in- 
terview with Captain Bourke, translated by Rev. Mr. Chatelain, mis- 


Excrementitious remedies are still to be met with in the folk-medi- 
cine of various countries ; indeed, the problem would be to determine 
in what country of the world at the present day the more ignorant 
classes do not still use them. The extracts to be now given will show 
that folk-medicine still retains a hold upon medicaments the use of 
which is generally believed to have passed away with the centuries. 

" I never had an opportunity of seeing the following deed, but it was 
many times asserted to me by serious persons : In our province, Brit- 
tany, when somebody in the peasantry has a cheek swollen by the 
effects of toothache, a very good remedy is to apply upon the swollen 
cheek, as a poultice, freshly expelled cow-dung, and even human dung, 
just expelled and still smoking, which is considered as much more ef- 
ficient." — (Personal letter from Captain Henri Jouan, French Navy, 
Cherbourg, France, July 29, 1888.) 

" Dans nos pays, on ne connait pas, contre les piqures, de guepes et 
autres insectes, venimeux, et contre les brMures caustiques, de I'Urtica 
Ureus, de meilleur remede que I'application de I'urine." — (Personal 
letter from Dr. Bernard, Cannes, France, August, 1888.) 

In describing the medicine of the Samoans, Turner says : " On some 
occasions mud and even the most unmentionable filth was mixed up 
and taken as an emetic draught." — (London, 1884, p. 139, "Samoa.") 

" Maw-wallop. A nlthy composition, sufficient to provoke vomit- 
ing." — (Grose, "Diet, of Buckish Slang," London, 1811.) 

" In Fayette County an emetic for croup is made by mixing urine 
and goose-grease, and administering internally, and also rubbing some 
of the mixture over the throat and breast." — ("Folk-Lore of the 
Pennsylvania Germans," FIoff*man, in " Journal of American Folk-Lore," 
Cambridge, Mass., January-March, 1889, p. 28.) 

For incised wounds use human urine as a lotion ; for lacerated 
wounds apply human excrement. — (Sagen-Marchen, Volksaberglau- 
ben, ans Schwaben, Freiburg, 1861, p. 487.) 

" Horse-dung and beer " are mentioned as the remedy used in Eng- 


land and France for the cure of " exceeding faintness." — (See Black, 
"Folk-Medicine," London, 1883, pp. 152, 153, quoting Floyer and De 
La Pryne.) 

Among the many quaint recipes preserved in the Materia Medica of 
English physicians down almost to our own day we find that pigeon's 
dung was used "to make a cataplasm against scrophulous and other 
like hard tumors ; ... for an ointment against baldness ; ... for a 
cataplasm to ripen a plague sore ; ... to make a powder against the 
stone." — (John Mathews Eaton, " Treatise on Breeding Pigeons," 
London, pp. 39, 40, quoting Dr. Salmon.) 

"Wolf-dung recommended in the treatment of colic. — (Black, " Folk- 
Medicine," p. 54.) 

" A decoction of sheep's dung and water was \ised in recent times 
in Scotland for whooping-cough and in cases of jaundice." — (Idem, 
p. 1G7.) 

On the same page Black shows that the same remedy was exten- 
sively employed in Ireland in the treatment of the measles. 

" In the south of Hampshire a plaster of warm cow-dung is applied 
to open wounds." — (Idem, p. IGl.) 

" "Water of cow-dung," collected in May and June, used as a purge 
by people in England. — (Southey, "Commonplace Book," p. 554.) 

On the same page he says that "man's excrement which had beea 
some days discharged, thinned with so much ale," was given to horses 
with the blind staggers, — "a common experiment." — (Idem.) 

A poultice of pigeon's dung and pounded rose-leaves was in use for 
a stitch in the side. — (Southey, "The Doctor," London, 1848, p. 59.) 

Swine's dung as a remedy for dysentery in Ireland, alluded to in 
terms of high approval by Borlase, quoted by Southey in " Common- 
place Book," p. 149. 

Hon. E. W. P. Smith, secretary of the United States Legation in the 
Republic of Colombia, South America, states that among the San 
Bias Indians of that country, and the lower classes generally, the 
patient's own urine is applied warm for sore eyes. 

Mrs. Fanny D. Bergen, of Cambridge, Mass., has for some years de- 
voted time and intelligent study to the acquisition of data bearing upon 
the superstitions connected with the human saliva. While making this 
valuable and curious collection she has also been fortunate enough to 
encounter much relating to kindred superstitions, and has very gen- 
erously placed at the disposal of the author of this volume all that 
related to the employment of human and animal egestse. 


Urine a cure for chapped hands, on Deer Isle. 

Urinate into your shoe to keep it from squeaking, on Deer Isle. 

Sheep-dung tea, a cure for measles, is extensively used on Deer 

Boys nrinate on their legs to prevent cramp. This practice was 
common in eastern ^[aine twenty to thirty years ago. 

Water standing in the depressions of cow-dung was formerly recom- 
mended as a certain cure for pulmonary consumption, in Xew York. 

Oil tried from the penis of the hog and applied to the loins of a ciiild 
suffering from weakness of kidneys or bladder cured such diseases, in 
northern parts of the United States and in parts of Nova Scotia. 

One's own urine was administered for gravel in Staffordshire, Eng- 
land, within the past ten years. 

A woman in England was given her own urine to drink, after a severe 
illness, to prevent "fits," in the present generation. A poultice of 
fresh, warm cow-dung cured a man of rheumatism in Xew York. 
Measles were cured by giving the patient a decoction of lamb's excre- 
ments (locally called "nanny-beads"), in Brunswick, X. Y., about 
1825. A newly born child was given a spoonful of woman's urine as 
a laxative, in 1814, in St. Albans, Vt. The white, limy part of hen- 
manure was used for canker-sores in mouth, in Abingdon, 111. Cow- 
manure was used for swelled breasts in County Cork, Ireland. Sheep- 
manure tea was used for measles in County Cork, Ireland, and by the 
negroes of Chestertown, Md. Sheep-dung tea for measles all over New 
England, Ohio, and Cape Breton. Cow-dung, as fresh as possible, 
plastered on inflamed breasts, commonly known as " bealed " breasts, 
within the last twenty-five years, on Cape Breton. 

Similar excrementitious remedies are in use among the Pennsylvania 
Germans. Cow-dung poultices are applied in the treatment of diph- 
theria, or as lenitives in cases of sore or gathered breasts. " Tea made 
of sheep-cherries (Gen. et spec?) is given for measles." — ("Folk- 
Medicine of the Pennsylvania Germans," in " Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc," 

For reasons not ascertained, the use of these revolting medicaments 
has nearly always been veiled under the language of euphemism. 
Sheep-dung is rarely called by its own name, but always, as has been 
shown in the preceding remarks, " sheep-nanny tea," etc. In the same 
manner, the use of human excreta was veiled under the high-sounding 
designations of " zibethum," "oriental sulphur," etc. 

This use of sheep-dung in the treatment of measles must be veiy 


ancient and wide-spread. Surgeon "Washington ^Matthews notes its 
existence among the Xavajoes, who learned it from the Spaniards. 

" Slight wounds are cured " by the application of dirt to the part 
affected. — ("Nat. trib. of S. Australia," p. 284, received through the 
kindness of the Roy. Soc. Sydney, N. S. Wales, T. B. Kyngdon, 

Mr. Chrisfield, of the Library of Congress, "Washington, D. C, states 
that urine was a remedy for earache among people on eastern shore of 
Maryland and Virginia ; while for the cure of jaundice, in Xew Eng- 
land, "the spider, and even a more disagreeable remedy, is adminis- 
tered in a spoonful of molasses." — ("Folk-Medicine," Black, London, 
1883, p. 61, quoting Napier, " Folk-Lore," p. 95, and " Folk- Lore 
Record," vol. i. p. 4.5.) 

" I am impressed to tell you of a custom that prevailed to some ex- 
tent among the people of this State (Iowa) ; this was the use of sheep- 
dung for measles. The dung was made into what the old women 
denominated 'tea,' and was familiarly known as 'sheep-nanny tea.' 
It was believed to be singularly efficacious in bringing out the erup- 
tion. The mixture was sweetened with sugar, and thus disguised was 
given to children. This practice was kept up among certain classes 
until about twenty years ago ; I have not heard of it, at least in recent 
years. I can trace the custom through the origin of the families in 
which it was practised here to Indiana and North Carolina." — (Per- 
sonal letter from Prof. S. B. Evans, Ottumwa, Iowa, to Captain Bourke, 
April 16, 1888.) 

" I was told by an old person, now dead, that some fifty years since 
the urine of a cow was given internally as a remedy for chlorosis, in 
the comities of Norfolk and Suffolk." — (Personal letter from Prof. 
Frank Rede Fowke to Captain Bourke, dated London, England, June 
18, 1888.) 

" In the country where I was born I have seen several times, when 
a cow or an ox had one of its horns knocked away by a shock or any 
other cause, people pissing into the horn before putting it again over 
its root. This was supposed necessary to cause the horn to stick firmly 
against the root." — (Personal letter from Captain Henri Jouan, French 
Navy, Cherbourg, July 29, 1888.) 

" The presence of ammonia in the secretions (whose power of neu- 
tralizing acids may have been accidentally discovered) may have had 
something to do with the repute of the excretions of the kidneys. I 
remember to have been told as a little boy of the virtues of urine as a 


relief to chapped hands, also as a counter-irritant for inflamed eyes. 
Ill the former case the ammonia would soften as an alkali ; in the lat- 
ter, the salts present would act to reduce congestion, like common salt, 
by endosmosis." — (Personal letter from Prof. E. N. Horsford, Harvard 
University, to Captain Bourke, April 19, 1888.) 

" I have been recently informed, by a man who is acquainted with 
the peculiarities of Parisian life, that there are men who are in the 
habit of swallowing the scum which they obtain from the street urinals, 
and that they are known as * Les mangeurs du blanc." (Prof. Frank 
Rede Fowke.) According to Parent du Chatelet, a "mangeur du 
blanc" meant in Paris, until 1810, "a man who lived off the earnings 
of a strumpet." The name has since boon changed to "paillason." 
(See "La Prostitution," Paris, 1857, vol. i. p. 138. 

" When I was a boy we had in my father's house a gang of cats, 
and I remember that frequently the people of Cherbourg came and 
asked permission to search in our garrets for cat's dung, which, 
they said, mixed and infused in white wine, produced a very efficient 
drink against periodical fits of fever." — (Captain Henri Jouan, French 

Lye-tea, made of human urine and lime-water, was used for colds by 
the " old people " in the rural parts of Central New York." — (Con- 
versation with Colonel Pierce, Dr. Pangborn, and Lieutenant "W, C' 
Elliott, U. S. Army, at San Carlos Agency, Arizona.) 

The savages of Australia apply to wounds the resin of the eucalyp- 
tus, and also the bark of the same tree, previously steeped in human 
urine. (Personal letter from John Mathew, Esq., M. A., to Captain 
Bourke, dated "The j\Lanse," Coburg, Victoria, November, 1889.) 
The same thing is referred to in " The Australian Race," E. ]\L Curr. 
Melbourne, 1886, vol. i. p. 2-56. In regard to the uses of the crust of 
latrines, in connection with "mangeurs du blanc," see other pages of 
this volume. 

'' Philos. ; hermet. ; urine du vin, le vinaigre. L^rine des jeuncs 
coleriques Le Mercure Philosophe." Diet. Nationale, par M. Bes- 
cherel, ain^, Paris, 1857, sub voc. Urine (p. 1573). 

We have already been informed from ]\rarco Polo that the prisoners 
taken by the Tartars often poisoned themselves ; " for which reason 
the great lords haue dogs' dung ready, which they force them to swal- 
low, and that forceth them to vomit the poyson " (in Purchas, vol. i. 
p. 92) ; and we have also learned, from many sources, — Etmuller, 
Schurig, Levinus Lemnius, Flemraing, Paullini, Beckherius, Len- 



tilius, — of the antidotal powers of the excreta. The existence of the 
very same belief was detected among the natives of America. 

Padre Inamma, whose interesting researches upon rattlesnake bites 
and their remedies (made in Lower California, some time before the 
expulsion of the Jesuits, in 17C7) are published in Clavigero,^ says 
that the most usual and most efficacious antidote was human ordure, 
fresh and dissolved iu water, drunk by the person bitten. 

Along the Isthmus of Darien the belief was prevalent among the 
aborigines that the most efficacious remedy for poisoned arrows was 
that which required the wounded man to swallow pills of his own 

So in Peru, " when sucking infants were taken ill, especially if their 
ailment was of a feverish nature, they washed them in urine in the 
mornings, and when they could get some of the urine of the child, 
they gave it a drink." ' 


In Canada, human urine was drunk as a medicine. Father Sagard 
witnessed a dance of the Hurous in which the young men, women, 
and girls danced naked around a sick woman, into whose mouth one 
of the young men urinated, she swallowing the disgusting draught iu 
the hope of being cured.* 

Analogous medicaments may be hinted at in Smith's account of the 
Araucanians of Chili : " Their remedies are principally if not entirely, 
vegetable matter, though they administer many disgusting compounds 

1 El remedio mas usual y eficaz es el de la triaca humana, asi llamada, para 
mayor decencia, el excremento humano, fresco y disuelto en agua que hacen beber 
al mordido. — (Clavigero, " Histoiia de la Baja California," Mexico, 18.52.) 

2 Decian que era el antidoto de esta pon9ona el Fuego 1 el agua del mar, la dieta 
y continencia. Y oti*a dicen que la hez del herido tomada en pildoras o en otia 
forma. (Herrera, "Decades," 2, lib. i. pp. 3, 9, 10.) They used to say that the 
antidotes for this poison were fire, sea-water, fasting, and continence. Another of 
which they speak was the excrement of the wounded man, taken in form of pill or 

3 Garcilasso de la Vega, " Comentarios Reales," Markham's translation, Ilak- 
luyt Society, vol. xli. p. 186. 

* II se fit un jour une dance de tous les jeunes hommes, femmes et fiUes toutes 
nues, en la presence d'une malade h, la quelle il fallut (traict que je ne S5ay commen 
excuser ou passer sous silence), qu'un de ces jeunes honnnes luy pissast dans la 
bouche et qu'elle auallast et beust cette eau, ce qu'elle fit avec un grand courage, 
esperant en reccuoir guerison. — (Sagard, "Ilistoire du Canada," edition of Paris, 
1885, p. 107.) 


of animal matter, which they pretend are endowed with miraculous 
powers." — (Smith, " Araucanians," New York, 1855, p. 234.) 

Brand enumerates obsolete recipes, one of which (disease not men- 
tioned) directed the patient to take ''five spoonfuls of knave child 
urine of an innocent." — (Brand, "Pop. Ant,," London, 1849, vol. iii. 
p. 282.) 

The Crees apply the dung of animals lately killed to sprains. — (See 
"Mackenzie's Voyages," etc., to the Arctic Circle, London, 1800, 
introd. p. 106.) 

Henry M. Stanley says that, for the cure of certain ulcers due to 
fly-blow, from which his men suffered, " Safeni, my coxswain on the 
Victoria Nyanza, . . . adopted a very singular treatment, which I 
must confess was also wonderfully successful. . . . This medicine con- 
sisted of a powder of copper and child's urine, painted over the wound 
with a feather twice a day." — (" Through the Dark Continent," New 
York, 1878, vol. ii. p. 369.) 

" It appeared that the dung of the donkey, rubbed on the skin, was 
supposed to be a cure for rheumatism, and that this rare specific was 
brought from a distant country in the East, where such animals exist. 
— ("The Albert Nyanza," Sir Samuel Baker, Philadelphia, 1869, 
p. 372.) 

" The Mandingoes of Africa dress abscesses with cow's dung. — (See 
Mungo Park's " Travels in Africa," in Pinkerton, vol. xvii. p. 877. 
See, also, the edition of his works, " Travels in Africa," New York, etc.) 

The author has seen cow-manure plastered with soothing effect upon 
bee-stings in New Jersey. 

" Pro remedio, in pluribus morbis urina foeminse externe applicata, 
in eximia estimatione habetur." — (" The Native Tribes of South 
Australia, Adelaide, 1879, introduction, xvi. See, also. Eyre, "Expe- 
dition into Central Australia," London, 1845, ii. 300.) 

" Pilgrim's Salve. A Sir-Reverence ; human excrement." — (Grose, 
"Dictionary of Buckish Slang," London, 1811.) 

"The medicine-men of the Ove-herero, who live south of Angola 
(which is on the west coast of Africa), urinate over the sick, in order to 
cure them." — (" Muhongo," interpretation by Rev. Mr. Chatelain.) 

The Inuit medicine-man asperse^ the sick with human urine, " le 
goupillone avec de vieilles urines, k I'instar des docteurs a poison 
bochimans . . . les Cambodgieus aspergent egalement le demon de 
la petite-verole avec de I'urine, mais cette urine est celle d'un cheval 
blanc." — (Reclus, " Les Primitifs," p. 98.) 


" There are few complaints that the natives do not attempt to cure, 
either by charms or by specific applications. Of the latter, a very 
singular one is the application personallj' of the urine from a female, — 
a very general remedy, and considered a sovereign one for most dis- 
orders." — (Eyre, "Expedition into Central Australia," London, 1845, 
vol. ii. p. 300 J contributed by Prof H. C. lienshaw. Bureau of Eth- 
nology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.) 

(See previous references to the therapeutics of the native Aus- 
tralians in this volume. 

" Plasters of mixed grass, butter, and cow-dung were placed on the 
wounds" of sore-backed animals in Abyssinia. — ("A Visit to Abys- 
sinia," "W. Winstanley, London, 1881, vol. ii. p. 3.) 

Cameron employed a native medicine-man, near Lake Tanganyika, 
to treat one of his men who had injured his eye. " His treatment 
consisted of a plaster of mud and dirt, and his fee was forty strings of 
beads." —(" Across Africa," London, 1877, vol. i. p. 322. The word 
" dirt," as used by Cameron in the above sentence, no doubt means 

Mr. Stewart Culin, of Philadelphia, Penn., who has been making 
careful investigations into the Chinese materia medica, states that 
" frequent directions for the use of urine " are to bo seen " among the 
official remedies in the herbal." Only a few pages back, reference was 
had to the use by the Chinese in Batavia of all kinds of excrementi- 
tious remedies.^ 

The Eeverend Maurice J. Bywater writes from Nassau, Bahamas, 
that during the seven years he was on missionary duty in the island 
of Borneo, he witnessed several very curious and remarkable instances 
of the restorative and stimulating effects of human urine, as used by 
the Chinese immigrants in cases of accident. 

The Coreans use the same system of medicine as the Chinese. Both 
employ plasters of human excrement for bites, erysipelas, inflamma- 
tions, etc. They use the urine of a healthy boy as a tonic. — (Dr. II. 
T. Allen, Secretary of Legation, Corean Embassy, Washington, D. C, 
1888.) 2 

Our knowledge of the Thibetans is still so limited that we must not 

1 "The urine of young children, mixed with lime and evaporated until a solid 
is formed, cures general debility, and, made into a liquid, is most usefully applied 
as a lotion for the eyes." (China.) — ("Evening Star," Washington, D. C, 
Oct. 11, 1890.) 

* This is confirmed by Mr. Frank G. Carpenter, who has visited Corea. 


attach too much importance to the little we have so far gained ; there 
is still much to be learued concerning that singular, isolated race. 

The strange veneration accorded the excrement of the Grand Lama 
has been fully discussed, but their sacred books do not show that the 
employment of stercoraceous medicaments is carried any farther. 

According to the translation of the " Pratimoksha Sutra" made by 
Mr. W. W. Rockhill, sick Buddhist monks were ordered to employ the 
following remedies: " Le beurre fondu, I'liuile, la melasse, le miel, 
I'ecume de melasse." — ("Asiatic Society," Paris, 1885, p. 22.) 

Dr. Francis Parkman, in his "Jesuits in North America," Boston, 
1867, introduction, p. xl., speaks of the "revolting remedies" em- 
ployed by the Huron, Iroquois, and Algonquin tribes. 

The following are among many of the curious recipes given in the 
"Tragedy of the Gout," written by Blambeauseant, in 1600: — 

" Ther 's the odorous sheep's dung, given always on the sly." 

" A little blue ointment, mixed with man's ordure." 

" Virgin's urine, as a cure for all the men in town." 

(" Medicine in the Middle Ages," Minor, p. 88.) 

Further references can be found in the following list, taken from 
the "Bibliotheca Scatalogica," which likewise contains several of those 
fi'om which citations have already been made. 

" Get emploi des stercora, et en particulier, de ceux de I'homme, 
pour les usages pharmaceutiques, est tres reel. On nommait medecins 
stercoraires ceux qui les prescrivaient, et on dissimulait I'origine de la 
substance sous diverses denominations bizarres ou ridicules (carbon 
humanum, oletum, sulphur occideutale) . Suivant Paracelse, les ex- 
crements humains pouvaient par une certaine preparation, acquerir 
I'odeur du muse et de la civette ; de la le nom qu'on leur donnait de 
civette ou muse occidental." — (" Bib. Scat.," p. 29.) 

Ganin, De Simplic. Medicament, facnltat. lib. x. fol. m. 75, seq. 
"An stercoris usus liciturl Conceditur." — (Xo. 200 of the "Bib. 
Scat.," p. 77.) 

"202. Gufer, Joh. Medicin. domest. tab. 3, p. 11, et Joh. phil. 
Gieswein, De Mater. Medic, p. 292, imprimis laudant stercus hominis 
qui lupinos comedit." — (Idem, p. 78.) 

"203, Helvetius, Joh. Freder, Diribitor. med. p. 112, seq.^ recom- 
mande le stercus humanum recens et adhnc calidum." — (Idem.) 

Herodote, lib. ii. ; Hesoide, "Opera et Dies." 

Sheep-dung, boiled in milk, recommended for the cure of the whoop- 


ing cough by the Swedish physician Hjoort, as well as by the French 
doctor Baumer. — (" Bib. Scat." p. 78.) 

Hoffmann, Fred, annot. in Petr. poter, Pharmacop. Spagyric (lib. i. 
p. 445), dit que excrementa alviua magnara vim possideut. 

Homere, Odyssee, lib. vi. — (" Bib. Scat." p. 78.) 

Kircher, Podronus ^Egypticus, cap. ult. 

Laerce (Diogene) in Pythagor. 

Langius (Christ.), Oper. Medic, regarde les medicaments stercoraux 
ut res iudigna et execrabilis, cependant 11 en permet I'usage contra 
desperatissimos morbos " (p. 79). 

Lotichus, Johan. De casei ncquitise, Francof. 1640, " sordidi medi- 
castri et o-Karo^ayoi excrementis frui solent ; sed homo vero cordatus 
et bou8e mentis se abstinet " (p. 81). 

"M. Gustave Brunet a insere dans sa traduction des propos de 
table de Martin Luther" (Paris, 1844, p. 377), "quelques pensees du 
celebre reformateur qui appartieunent a notre sujet. L'une roule sur 
la transformation des excrements en nouveaux aliments ; I'autre sur 
les propriet^s de la fiente," etc. (p. 81). 

Macrobii Saturnal. lib. iii. ; Martialis, Epigrammata, iv. 88; vii. 18; 
xii. 40, 77, et ailleurs" (p. 81). 

Mayem, Theodor. de Prax. Medic, syntagm. alter mele le stercus a 
la poudre d'oeillets " (gilly-flowers). 

Menangiana. Paris, 1715, 4 vols, in 12. On trouve dans ce livre 
divers passages relatifs a notre sujet. Voy. t. 1, pp. 9, 180, 222 ; t. 2, 
p. 198; t. 3, p. 239. 

Clemens d'Alexandrie, Hecogu. lib. v. p. 71. 

Denne, Ludovic. Pharmac. dissert. 1. p. m. ill, seq. "II blame 
I'usage medical des excrements humains" (p. 73). 

Diodore de Sicile, lib. i. cap. 8, p. 73. 

Damian, P. Opuscula, c. 2, p. 73. 

Praterius, Praxis, lib. iii. p. 330, recommande surtout I'huile et I'eau 
extraite de stercore humano. Suivant Belleste, Chirurg. d'hopital, part 
3, p. 248, chap. 4, le sel extrait des excrements du malade atteint de 
dysentere le guerit." 

Plutarque, Apoph. Laconic, p. 232. Petrus Pharmacop. Spagiric. 
p. m. 445, regarde le stercus comme pouvant founiir rara et perfecta 
remedia. Eeference is had to the thirteenth chapter of Rabelais " sur 
les anisterges." Rivinus (Augustus Quirinus) Censur. Medicament, 
officinal, cap. 2, p. 10, et seq. et 15 et seq., "streuue contra stercorum 
usum pugnat." There are other old medical authorities cited, some 


fully, others ouly partially in favor of the medicinal use of the excreta ; 
and one or two in antagonism thereto. — ("Bib. Scat," p. 38 et seq.). 

" On a appelle album nigrum les crottes des souris et des rats, jadis 
employes comme purgatif par les medecins stercoraires. Merde du 
diable, stercus diaboli, c'est I'assafoetida, espece de gomme." ("Bib. 
Scat." p. 128. See also Grose, Diet, of Buckish Slang, Lond. 1811, 
Assafoet.) On the principle of "lucus a non lucendo," the works of 
Svvieten, " Commentariorum," etc., Lyons, 1776, are worthy of special 
mention ; careful examination fails to discover any allusion to the use 
of excreta, human or animal, in pharmacy or therapeutics, and no 
mention is made of witchcraft. Therefore the works of this author 
mark a new stage in the development of scientific and religious 

In Warner's " Topographical Remarks relating to the southwestern 
parts of Hampshire," 1793 (vol. ii. p. 131), speaking of the old register 
of Christ Church, that author tells us, " The same register aflbrds, 
also, several very curious receipts, or modes of cure in some singular 
cases of indisposition ; they are, apparently, of the beginning of the 
seventeenth century, and couched in the uncouth phraseology of that 
time." I forbear, however, to insert them, from motives of delicacy. 
— (Brand, "Pop. Ant." vol. iii. p. 306, article " Physical Charms.") 

" A new-born babe was not considered fully prepared for life's jour- 
ney until its stomach had been filled and emptied by a potation of 
molasses diluted with the vesical secretions of the first youngster that 
could be secured for the purpose." — ("Professional Reminiscences," 
Benjamin Eddy Cutting, M. D., Curator of the Lowell Institute, Bos- 
ton, Mass., 1888, p. 40.) 


It was not enough that the urine and ordure of men and animals 
should be employed in pharmacy ; everything that could be taken from 
the bodies of men or animals, wild or domesticated, living or dead, was 
enlisted to swell the dread list of filth remedies. 

EtmuUer supplies the following list of remedies ; " sumuntur ex cor- 
pore vivente : " Hair, nails, saliva, ear-wax, sweat, milk, menses, after- 
birth, urine, ordure, semen, blood, calculi, worms, lice, caul (of infant), 
. . . and these "ex partibus corporis demortui." . . . The whole 
corpse, flesh, skin, fat, bones, skull, moss growing on a skull, brain, 
gall, heart. Gall of animals has been used by the Indians of North 


America as a stimulant. (See Etmuller, Michaelus, " Opera Omnia," 
vol. ii. p. 265, Schrod. " Dil. Zool.") 

He also recites that the following parts of domestic kine were used 
in medical practice : horns, bile, liver, spleen, blood, marrow, tallow, 
fat, hoofs, urine, ordure, testicles, milk, butter, cheese, phallus, and 
bones. — (Idem, vol. ii. p. 248 et seq.) 


" The first hair cut from an infant's head will modify the attacks of 
gout. . . . The hair of a man torn down from the cross is good for 
quartan fevers." — (Pliny, lib. xxviii. cap. 7.) 

" The smell of a woman's hair, burnt, will drive away serpents, and 
hysterical suifocations, it is said, may be dispelled thereby. The ashes 
of a woman's hair, burnt in an earthen vessel, will cure eruptions and 
porrigo of the eyes . . . warts and ulcers upon infants . . . wounds 
upon the head . . . corrosive ulcers . . . inflammatory tumors and 
gout . . . erysipelas and hemorrhages, and itching pimples." — (Plinj-, 
lib. xxviii. c. 20.) 

Schurig commends the use of human hair in cases of baldness, ap- 
plied externally in salve, chopped fine or in ashes; for the cure of 
yellow jaundice, it was powdered and drunk in some suitable men- 
struum ; it was employed in luxation of the joints, for hemorrhage from 
wounds : " Ad canis morsuum, infantis capilli cum aceto impositu 
morsum sine tumore sanant et capitis ulcera emendant." — (Sextus 
Placitus, art. " De Puello et Puella Virgine.") 

Flemniing advised that it be powdered and drunk in wine as a cure 
for yellow jaundice ; woman's hair, powdered and made into a salve, 
with lard, was of general efficacy ; men's hair was burned under the 
nostrils of those suffering from lethargy ; and was drunk for " suffoca- 
tion of the womb." — (" De Remediis," etc. p. 8.) 

A medicinal oil was distilled from the hair of a full beard, and an 
ointment made from the same. Powdered human hair was drunk as a 
potion in a cure for yellow jaundice ; the ashes of burnt hair were made 
into an unguent with mutton tallow, and applied to the nostrils of peo- 
ple in a state of lethargy ; in " suffocation of the uterus," this oint- 
ment was applied to the pudenda. The hair of a patient was frequently 
used in affecting " sympathetic cures," or in what were called " Cures 
by Transplantation," but the names of the diseases are not given by 
Flcmming (p. 21). (But see under "Cures by Transplantation" in 
this volume.) 


la China, the shavings of the hair, which must amount to a consid- 
erable quantity, since hundreds of millions of peoj^le shave the head 
close daily, are preserved for manuring the land. — (See " Bingham's 
Exped. to China," London, 1842, vol. ii. p. 7.) 

In China, everything connected with tlie tilling of the fields is still 
a religious rite. Probably no country in the world of equal advancement 
has adhered with more tenacity to old usages in all that pertains to the 
turning-up of the soil j there are ceremonies in which the Emperor 
himself must lead with a plough. How much all this may have to do 
with the utilization of a refuse which has been so generally regarded as 
possessed of " magical " or " medicinal " properties, is, in all likelihood, 
never to be ascertained ; but attention should be attracted to the fact, 
in the same manner that it was found worth while to make an exami- 
nation into the history of latrines. 

"Among ourselves, it is a Devonshire belief that you can give a 
neighbor ague by burying a dead man's hair under his threshold." — 
("Folk-Medicine," Black, p. 27.) 

" In Devonshire and in Scotland alike, when a child has whooping- 
cough, a hair is taken from its head, put between slices of bread and 
butter, and given to a dog, and if in eating it the dog cough, as natural- 
ly he will, the whooping-cough will be transferred to the animal, and 
the child will go free." The same method of cure is practised in Ireland, 
but the animal selected is an ass. — (Idem, p. 35.) 

"Certain oak-trees at Berkhampstead, in Hertfordshire, were long 
famous for the cure of ague. The ti'ansference was simple, but pain- 
ful. A lock of hair was pegged into an oak, and then, by a sudden 
wrench, transferred from the head of the patient to the tree." — (Idem, 
p. 39.) 

Clippings of hair and rags are offered to holy wells in Ireland, Bor- 
neo, Malabar, etc., not merely as offerings to deities, but in order to 
effect a " transference " of diseases to the people who may take hold 
of them. — (Idem, pp. 39, 40 ; quoting from Tylor, " Primitive Culture," 
vol. ii., and others.) 

" In New England, to cure a child of the rickets, a lock of its hair 
is buried at cross-roads, and if at full moon, so much the better." — 
(Idem, p. 56 ) 

It is believed in parts of England that the hairs from a donkey's back, 
wrapped up in bread, and given to a sick child, will cure the whooping- 
cough ; another remedy of the same kind is to take clippings from the 
child's own head, mix them in butter, and give to a dog, which will 


take the disease from the child ; still another was to mount the suffer- 
er upon the back of an ass, and lead him nine times round an oak- 
tree. — (See Brand, "Top. Ant." vol. iii. p. 288, art. "Physical 

The Romans attached certain omens to the manner, time, and place 
of cutting the nails and hair. — (See Pliny, lib. xxviii. c. 5.) 

The ancients believed that " no person in a ship must pare his nails, 
or cut his hair except in a storm." — (Brand, " Pop. Ant.," vol. iii. p. 239, 
art. "Omens Among Sailors," quoting Petronius Arbiter.) 

" When a man has his hair cut, he is careful to burn it, or bury it 
secretly, lest falling into the hands of some one who has an evil eye, 
or is a witch, it should be used as a charm to afflict him with a head- 
ache." — (Livingston, "Zambesi," London, 1865, p. 47.) 

Etmuller relates that in his time women suffering from retention of 
the menses were in the habit of plucking the hair growing on the pubis, 
which would promptly cause their reappearance, but whether by the 
irritation or by taking the hair internally, is not clear ; — " Mulieres 
suffocataj ex utero soleaut vellicare in pilis pubis, ut citius et felicius 
ad se redeant." Finger-nail clippings were drunk as an emetic, es- 
pecially by soldiers while on campaign : — " L^ngues infusi in vinum 
vel potum cum vehementia cient vomitum et purgant per fecessum 
. . . propinavit pro vomitorio et purgante militibus ungues proprios 
infusos per noctem in vinum calidum" — (Etmuller, vol. ii. p. 269). 

"The hair and nails are cut at the full moon." — (Grimm, "Teu- 
tonic Mythology," Stallybrass, London, 1882, vol. ii, p. 712 et seq.) 

The Patagonians " all believe that the witclies and wizards can injure 
whom they choose, even to deprivation of life, if they can possess them- 
selves of some part of their intended victim's body, or that which has 
proceeded thence, such as hair, pieces of nails, etc. . . . And this 
superstition is the more curious from its exact accordance with that 
so prevalent in Polynesia." — (" Voyage of the Adventure and Beagle," 
London, 1839, vol. ii. p. 163, quoting the Jesuit Faulkner.) 

" Which is the most deadly deed whereby a man increases most 
the baleful strength of the Dsevas, as he would by offering them a 
sacrifice 1 " 

" Ahura Mazda answered : — 'It is when a man here below combing 
his hair or shaving it off, or paring off liis nails, drops them in a hole 
or in a crack.' " — (Fargard XVII. Aveudidad, Zendavesta, Oxford, 
1880, p. 186.) 

Beckherius states that the clippings of the finger-nails made an ex- 


cellent emetic. " Yomitorium non inelegans ex iis paratur." — (" Med. 

Flemming goes more into detail ; he says that the finely ground 
clippings of the hoof of the elk, stag, goat, bull, etc., were employed 
as a vomitory, but in their absence, human finger-nails were substituted ; 
'' istam ungulorum speciem quae ab homine desumitur, substitui." Hu- 
man finger-nail clippings were also recommended in " sympathetic " 
cures. — (Flemming, " De Remediis," p. 21.) 

"He who trims his nails and buries the parings is a pious man ; he 
who bums them is a righteous man ; but he who throws them away 
is a wicked man, for mischance might follow should a female step over 
them." — (Paul Isaac Hershon, " Talmudic Miscellany," Boston, 1880, 
p. 49 ; footnote to above, " The orthodox Jews in Poland are to this day 
careful to bury away or burn their nail-parings.") 

On a fragment of a Chaldean tablet occurs this curious passage : — 

" A son to his mother, 

(if) he has said to her. Thou art not my mother 

His hair and nails sliall be cut off, 

In the town he shall be banished from land and water." 
("Clialdean Magic," Francois Lenormant, Loudon, 1873, p. 382.) 

In the province of Moray, Scotland, " In hectic fevers and consump- 
tive diseases they pare the nails of the fingers and toes of the patient, 
put these in a bag made of a rag from his clothes, . . . then wave 
their hand with the rag thrice round his head, crying ' Deas Soil,' after 
which they bury the rag in some unknown place." Pliny, in his 
Natural History, mentions it as practised by the magicians or Druids 
of his time. — (Brand, " Pop. Ant.," vol. iii. p. 286, art. " Physical 


The most recent work on this subject is the extended monograph of 
Mrs. Fanny D. Bergen, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, now in press, 
and to the pages of which the author of this volume has contributed 
his own collection of data. 

Reference may also be had, with advantage, to Brand's Popular 
Antiquities, Reginald Scot's " Discoverie of Witchcraft," Black's "Folk- 
Medicine," Samuel Augustus Flemming's " De Remediis ex Corpore 
Humano desumtis," Lenormant's " Le Magie chez les Chaldiens," and 
to the works of Pliny, Galen, " Saxon Leechdoms," Levinus Lemnius, 
Beckherius, Etrauller, and many others. 


John Graham Dalyell, " Superstitions of Scotland," Edinburgh, 1834, 
has a chapter on the occult influences attributed to human saliva. 
Wlieu the Khonds of Orissa were about to sacrifice a human victim, 
they were wont to solicit the favor of having him spit in their faces ; 
" sollicitent im crachat qu'ils s'etendront soigneusement." — ("Les 
Primitifs," Reclus, p. 368.) 

In the ritual of the Hill Tribes of the Nilgherris, it is related : — 

" Mada a crache dans les fontaines." 

(Quoted in "Les Primitifs," p. 244.) 

Frommaun, in his " Tractatus de Fascinatione," Nuremburg, 1G75, 
speaks of the anointing of eyes with saliva, to cure blindness ; this he 
compares to the use made by our Saviour of the same (p. 196). 

"The Kirghis tribes apply to their sorcerers, or Baksy, to chase 
away demons, and thus to cure the diseases they are supposed to pro- 
duce. To this end they whip the invalid until the blood comes, and 
then spit in his face." — ("Chaldean Magic," Fran9ois Lenormant, 
London, 1873, p. 212.) 

Many interesting practices connected with the human saliva, are 
given in Lady Wilde's " Ancient Legends and Superstitions of Ireland," 
Boston, 1888. See also "The Golden Bough," James G. Frazer, M.A., 
London, 1890, vol. i. pp. 385, 386. 


Pliny speaks of its use in medicine (lib. xxviii. cap. 7) ; Galen does 
also. Flemming recommended its internal use in colic and cramps ; 
and externally as an application to wounds. — ("De Remediis," etc., 
p. 22.) 

Paullini was of the opinion that a good salve for sore eyes could be 
prepared from ceriimen (pp. 42, 43). 

'' The excrement of the ears, like unto a yellow oyntment, is a great 
comfort in the pricking of the sinews." — (Von Helmont, "Oritrika," 
English translation, London, 1662, p. 247.) 

Galen thought that ear-wax was efficacious in the cure of whit-nails ; 
the other " sordes" were also employed, but he would not write about 
them, on account of the difficulty of obtaining them, — such as the 
perspiration flowing in the bath, or scraped from the body after severe 
exercise ; and, finally, the fatty matter of wool was of medicinal value, 
and seemed to have the same properties as butter. — (Galen, " Opera 
Omnia," lib. xii. p. 309, Kuhn's edition, Leipzig, 1829.) 


woman's milk. 

Woman's milk mitigated redness of eyes and inflammation of the 
lachrymal glands ; it should be used with vitriol. For " gutta serena " 
it was applied as an ointment ; in cases of atrophy it was regarded by 
many as of commendable utility, especially if drawn from the woman's 
breast ; the same treatment was a specific in obstinate hiccough. 

A butter prepared from woman's milk was used in diseases of chil- 
dren, especially colic, and in ocular affections. (See Flemming, " De 
Remediis," etc., p. 18.) Its remedial efficacy forms the basis of Pliny's 
c. 21, lib. xxviii. ; if possible, it should be that of a woman who had just 
borne male twins. " If a person is rubbed at the same time with the 
milk of both mother and daughter, he will be proof for all the rest of 
his life against all affections of the eyes. . . . Mixed with the urine of 
a youth who has not yet arrived at puberty, it removes ringing in the 
ears." — (Idem.) 

" Matricis vulneribus confert. . . . lac mulieris." — (Avicenna, vol. i. 
p. 337, a 36.) 

The Empress of China took the milk of sixty wet nurses to keep 
herself alive, according to Mr. Frank G. Carpenter. 

Woman's milk is still used in the rude trephining of the African 
Kabyles as a dressing. — (See " Prehistoric Trephining," by Dr. Robert 
Fletcher, in vol. v. " Contributions to North American Ethnology," 
Washington, D. C, 1882.) 


Human perspiration was believed to be valuable not only as a means 
of prognosis in some diseases, but its appearance was dreaded in others. 
If the perspiration of a fever-stricken patient was mixed with dough, 
baked into bread, and given to a dog, the dog would catch the fever, 
and the man recover. It was efficacious in driving away scrofulous 
wens, and in rendering philters abortive. It was narrated that if a man, 
who under the influence of a philter, was forced to love a girl against 
his will, would put on a pair of new shoes, and wear them out by walk- 
ing in them, and then drink wine out of the right shoe, where it could 
mingle with the perspiration already there, he would promptly be cured 
of his love, and hate take its place. 

This corresponds closely to the urine case already noted ; and it is 
proper to repeat Flemming's own words on the matter : " Narrant 
quod, si quis philtro fascinatus era fuerit, ad amandam prseter volun- 


tatem virginem, ut is noves induat calces, miliareque unurn obarabu- 
lando conficiat, quo sudor animadvertatur postque viimm e calceodextri 
pedis sudore madido, hauriat, sic ab illicito amore liberari amoremque 
iu odium converti dicunt." — (" De Remediis," p. 19.) 

See Etmuller, who used it in scrofula, lib. ii. p. 265 ; Pliny, lib. 28 • 
Galen and Avicenna (sweat of gladiators), vol. i. p. 398, a 17, and 


For the opinions entertained by the ancients regarding its occult 
powers, read Pliny (Bohn's edition), lib. xxviii. cap. 23, and again lib. 
viii. cap. 13. "On the approach of a woman in this state, must will 
become sour, seeds whicli are touched by her become sterile, grafts 
wither away, garden-plants are parched up, and the fruit will fixll from 
the tree beneath which she sits ; . . . a swarm of bees if looked upon 
by her will die immediately, brass and iron will immediately become 
rusty. . . . Dogs tasting the cataraenial fluid will go mad. ... In ad- 
dition to this, the bitumen which is found at certain periods of the year 
floating on the Lake of Judea, known as Asphaltites, — a substance which 
is peculiarly tenacious, and adheres to everything it touches, — can only 
be divided into separate pieces by a thread which has been dipped into 
this virulent matter." (Lib. vii. cap. 13, and again lib. xxviii. cap. 23.) 
In a footnote it is stated that both Josephus (" Bell. Jud.," lib. iv. cap. 9) 
and Tacitus (lib. v. cap. 6) give an account of this supposed action of this 
fluid on the bitumen of Lake Asphaltites. " Hail-storms, they say, whirl- 
winds, and lightning even, will be scared away by a woman uncovering 
her body merely, even though menstruating at the time." (Lib. xxviii. 
cap. 2.3.) Menstruating women, in Cappadocia, perambulated the fields 
of grain to preserve them from worms and caterpillars. (Idem.) 
"Young vines, too, it is said, are injured irremediably by the touch of 
a woman in this state ; and both rue and ivy plants, possessed of highly 
medicinal virtues, will die instantly upon being touched by her. . . . 
The edge of a razor will become blunted on coming in contact with 
her." — (Idem.) 

" All plants will turn pale upon the approach of a woman who has 
the menstrual discharge upon her." (Pliny, lib. xix. cap 57.) The same 
opinion prevailed in France down to our own times. (Idem, footnote.) 

" Expiations were made with the menstrual discharge, . . . not only 
by midwives, but even by harlots as well" (lib. xxviii. cap. 20). 

Froramann cites Aristotle and Pliny in reference to the maleficent 



effects of the menses and of the uncanuiness of a menstruating woman. 
Aristotle said her glance took the polish out of a mirror, and the next 
person looking into it would be bewitched. Frommann quotes a man 
who said he saw a tree in Goa which bad withered because a cata- 
menial napkin had been hung in it. — (" Tractatus de Fascinatione," 
Xuremburg, 1675, pp. 17, 18.) 

" Stains upon a garment made with the catamenial fluid can only be 
removed by the agency of the urine of the same female." — (Pliny, 
lib. xxviii. cap. 24.) 

" An Australian black fellow who discovered that his wife had lain 
on his blanket at her menstrual period, killed her, and died of terror 
himself within a fortnight. Hence Australian women at these times 
are forbidden under pain of death to touch anything that men use." 
("The Golden Bough," Frazer, vol. i. p. 170. He supplies other ex- 
amples from the Eskimo and the Indians of North America. *' Tinneh," 
etc., p. 170). In the following example we are not certain that the 
young women selected were undergoing purgation, but there is some 
reason for believing that such was the case, especially in view of the 
general dissemination of the ideas connected with the catamenia. 
" In a district of Transylvania, when the ground is parched with 
drought, some girls strip themselves naked, and, led by an older 
woman, who is also naked, they steal a harrow and cairy it across the 
field to a brook, where they set it afloat. Next they sit on the har- 
row, and keep a tiny flame burning on each corner of it for an hour ; 
then they leave the harrow and go home. A similar rain-charm is 
resorted to in India ; naked women drag a plough across the field by 
night." — ("The Golden Bough," Frazer, vol. i. p. 17.) 

For all bites of centipedes the people of Angola, Portuguese and 
negroes, apply the catamenial fluid. This remedy is implicitly believed 
in by all concerned. — (Rev. Mr. Chatelain, missionary to Angola, 

For the Inuit, see " Les Primitifs," Eeclus, Paris, 1885. 

The dread felt by the American Indians on this subject is too well 
known to need much attention in these pages ; it corresponds in every 
respect to the particulars recited by Pliny. Squaws, at the time of 
menstrual purgation, are obliged to seclude themselves ; in most tribes 
they are compelled to occupy isolated lodges ; and in all are forbidden 
to prepare food for any one but themselves. 

It is believed that were a menstruating woman to step astride of a 
rifle or a bow or a lance, the weapon would have no further utility. 


Medicine-men are in the habit of making a saving clause, whenever thej 
proceed to make "medicine;" this is to the effect that the "medi- 
cine " will be all right provided no woman in this peculiar condition 
be allowed to approach the tent or lodge of the officiating charlatan. 

Among the Navajoes of Arizona it is customary for the women to 
wear a strip of sheep-skin, called a " chogan ; " when the necessity for 
its use has disappeared, the woman goes outside of the village and con- 
ceals it in the forks of one of the cedar or juniper trees so numerous in 
the mountains. The author once found one of these ; but the people 
with him were impressed with the idea that no good would come from 
being near it. At another time he knew of a young boy who had been 
hit by a " chogan " which had been dislodged by a wind-storm. He 
was almost frantic with terror, and devoted three or four days to sing- 
ing and to washing in a " sweat-bath." 

The Ostiaks of Siberia would seem to have the same ideas on this 
subject as the Apaches and Navajoes have. — (See Pallas, " Voyages," 
vol. iv. p. 95.) 

Danielus Beckherius informs his readers that menstrual blood was 
used in medicine (pp. 23 et seq.) ; philters were prepared from it (idem, 
p. 341). "Zenith juvencarum sc. sanguines menstruum" were 
given for epilepsy, — that is, the first menses of a girl (idem, p. 42). 
The lint of the napkin itself was thus given also (idem), — "litura 
pannorum menstruorum datur patienti sanari morbum comitialium." 
The first napkin used by a healthy virgin was preserved for use in 
cases of plague, malignant carbuncles, etc., dampened with water and 
laid on the part affected ; also used in erysipelas (idem, p. 43, " Med. 
Microcosmus "). Dried catamenia were given internally for calculi, 
epilepsy, etc., and externally for podagra ; they were also used in treat- 
ment of the plague, for carbuncles, aposthumes, being placed thereon 
with a rag wet with rosewater or oil, into v.hich menstrual fluid had 
been poured ; it was good as a cosmetic to drive away pimijles (p. 265). 

To restrain an immoderate flow^ of the menses a napkin was saturated 
with menstrual blood, and then kept for a certain time in an aperture 
made in the bark of a cherry-tree. " Ad immodicum menstruorum 
fluxum cohibendum sunt qui pannum menstruumo sanguine imbutum 
certo tempore cerasi radice in cortice apertse indunt, incisuramquc 
iterum operiunt."— (Etmuller, "Op. Omnia;" Schrod. ''Dil. ZooL," 
vol. ii. p. 265.) 

Paullini prescribes the " dried catamenia of women " for the cure of 
kidney diseases (pp. 142, 1 43), also for ring-worm, felons, menstrual 



troubles. Frommann gives the same cure for immoderate menses, by 
placing the napkin in a cherry-tree. — (See " Tract, de Fascinatioue," 
p. 1006.) 

"Excoriationi conferunt. . . . sanguis menstruus." — (Avicenna, 
vol. i. p. 388.) 

According to Flemming, menstrual blood was believed to be so 
powerful that the mere touch of a menstruating women would render 
vines and all kinds of fruit-trees sterile (herein he seems to be follow- 
ing Pliny). It was believed to be valuable medicinally in relieving 
obstructions to the menstrual flow of other women ; even the soiled 
smock of a woman who had menstruated happily was efficacious in 
assisting another woman whose menses for any cause were retarded. 
A small portion of the menses, dried and taken internally, mitigated 
the ailment known as dysmenorhoea. Flemming states that, while in 
his time this remedy had been gradually superseded, its use was still 
kept up among the poor and ignorant, in erysipelas, face-blotches, and 
as an ingredient in an ointment for podagra or gout. — ("DeReme- 
diis," pp. 16, 17.) 

The Laplanders " say that they can stop a vessel in the middle of its 
course, and that the only remedy against the power of this charm is 
the sprinkling of female purgations, the odor of which is insupportable 
to evil spirits." — ("Regnard's Journey to Lapland," in Pinkerton, 
vol. i. p. 180). 

" To cure a young woman of consumption she was given monthly 
discharges to drink." — (" Dutchess County, New York," 1832, Mr. 
Joseph Y. Bergen, Jr., Cambridge, ilass.) 

*' Isaiah compareth our justice " panno menstruatse." — (Harington, 
" Ajax," p. 24.) 

" Crines foeminse menstruosse, the haires of a menstruous woman 
are turned into serpents within short space." — (Scot, " Discoverie," 
p. 221.) 

" Men have a special objection to see the blood of women at certain 
times ; they say that if they were to see it they would not be able to 
fight against their enemies and would be killed." (Mrs. James Smith, 
" The Roandik Tribes," p. 5.) Hence, although bleeding is a common 
Australian cure among men, women are not allowed to be bled. 
(Angas, vol. i. p. 3.) This aversion is perhaps the explanation of that 
seclusion of women at puberty, childbirth, etc., which has assumed 
different forms in many parts of the world." — (" Totemism," Frazer, 
p. 54, footnote.) 



Old women were suspected of using the first menstrual flow of a 
young girl in love-philters. — (Samuel Augustus Flemming, " De 

*' For colic take the scrapings of the nails of a catemenial virgin, 
mix with water, and take." — (Sagen-Miirchen, Volksaberglauben aus 
Sc.hwaben, Freiburg, 18G1, p. 487.) 

There were many curious ideas prevalent in olden times as to the 
manner in whicli the basilisk or cockatrice could be engendered. " Si 
Ton place dans une gourde de verre du sang menstruel, et si Ton fait 
putrifier celui-ci dans le ventre d'un cheval, il en nait un basilic." — 
(" Melusine," Paris, January-February, 1890, p. 19.) 

Although the Israelites had many notions in common with the 
American Indians on the subject of the catamenial fluid, and the 
seclusion of women undergoing purgation, there does not seem to have 
been any eflfort made to preserve or to hide the cloths used on such 
occasions. Thus the Prophet Isaiah (Ixiv. G) says of the idols of the 
Gentiles that they must be cast aside as the napkins soiled with the 
menses. " Hoc est disperges ea (de idolis loquitur) sicut immundi- 
tionem menstruatse." — (Contributed by Doctor Robert Fletcher.) 

References to use of the catamenial fluid in witchci'aft will be found 
in Beckherius, quoting Josephus 

"Hiawatha, wise and thoughtful, 
You shall bless to-night the corn-fields. 
Draw a magic circle round them, 
To protect them from destruction. 

** Rise up from your bed in silence, 
Lay aside your garments wholly. 
Walk around the fields you planted, 

" Covered with your tresses only. 
Robed with darkness as a garment.' 
("Hiawatha," Longfellow, canto xiii., "Blessing the Com-Fields.") 

Menstruating women were excluded from the Jewish synagogues and 
from the communion table of the early Christian Church : " Menstru- 
atse mulieres superstitiose excluste ab ecclesia." — (Baronius, '*An- 
nales," Lucca, 1758, tome 3, 266, xi.) 


Both of these were used medicinally ; the lochiae were useful in re- 
straining uterine hemorrhages; after-birth, dried and powdered, de- 


prived love-philters of their power; it was used as an anti-epileptic, 
to relieve retention of the menses, etc. (See Flemming, " De Remediis," 
p. 17.) Secundines were used in the treatment of epilepsy. — (See 
EtmuUer, vol ii. p. 265). 


Etrauller knew nothing of the remedial value of human semen be- 
yond the fact that Paracelsus had recommended its use in some cases 
(vol. ii. p. 272). 

Pliny mentions the use of human semen as a medicine (lib, xxviii. c. 

The savage Australians have "a last and most disgusting remedy 
. . . deemed infallible in the most extreme cases." . . " Mulierem ob 
juventutem firmitatemque corporis lectam sex vel plures viri in locum 
baud procul a castris remotum deducant. Ibique omnes deinceps in 
ilia libidinem explent. Tum mulier ad pedes surgere jubetur quo 
facilius id quod maribus excepit effluere possit. Quod in vase collectum 
segrotanti ebibendum praebent." The aborigines have unbounded 
faith in this truly horrible dose, and enumerate many, many instances 
where it has effected marvellous cures. We, however, have known of 
its having been administered in several cases without the remotest 
revivifying result. It may be that this fluid is — in fact some savants 
positively assert that it is so — the very essence of life, as well as con- 
taining the germs thereof, and that administering a draught thereof to 
a patient slowly but surely dying from exhaustion, consequent upon a 
long fit of illness (the illness itself having died out or been cured) 
might have the wonderful effect detailed so positively by the natives ; 
but this is a question for physicians to decide." — (" The Abor. of 
Victoria and Riveriua," Melbourne, 1889, p. 55, P. Beveridge, received 
through the kindness of the Royal Soc, Sydney, N. S. Wales, F. B. 
Kyngdon, Secretary.) 

" Impetigine conferunt . . . sperma." — (Avicenna, vol. i. p. 330, 
a 10.) 

For gout Avicenna prescribed " Sanguis menstruus," " Sperma 
hominis " (vol. i. p. 330, a 12; idem, a 13); "Sanguis menstruus 
calidus " (vol. i. p. 388, b 9) ; also " Stercus caprarum " (vol. i. p. 390, 
a 13). Consult also what has been said of this secretion under " Love- 



The medicinal employment of human blood is described by Pliny 
(lib. xxviii. cap. 105). 

Beckherius says that human blood was employed in the treatment 
of epilepsy. Faustina, the wife of the philosophical emperor, Marcus 
Antoninus, anxious to have a child, drank the warm blood of a dying 
gladiator, and then shared her husband's bed, and at once became preg- 
nant, and brought forth the cruel Commodus. Human blood was also 
used in effecting "sympathetic cures." — (" Medic. Microcos." pp. 122, 

But it was essential that the human blood so employed should be 
pure and undefiled ; lovers who wished to increase the affection of 
their mistresses, were recommended to try an infusion of their own 
blood into the loved one's veins. The blood of man and also that of 
some animals, notably the dog, sheep, etc., were employed in mania, 
delirium, cancer, etc. The method of transfusion was preferred. 
Epileptics would sometimes drink a draught of the warm blood caught 
gushing from the neck of a decapitated criminal ; the blood of a man, 
just decapitated, drunk warm, cured epilepsy and restrained uterine 
hemorrhage. — (Etmuller, vol. ii. p. 272.) 

Grimm alludes to the fact that the blood of innocent maids and boys 
was used as a remedy for leprosy ; that of malefactors, in epilepsy. 
— ("Tent. Mythol." vol. iii. p. 1173.) 

See the discussion of this matter under the caption of " Human 
Skulls." Consult the work "Blood-Covenant," by Dr. H. C. Trum- 

In regard to the conduct of the empress Faustina, see " History of 
the Inquisition," Henry C. Lea, N. Y. 1889, vol. iii. p. 391. 


Girdles of human skin were regarded as efficacious in helping women 
in labor; Etmuller, in his "Comment. Ludovic." disapproves of their 
use, but, in another part of his works, describes how and for what pur- 
poses they were to be employed. 

"Corium humanum et ex inde paratum cingulum magni est usu in 
Buffocatione uterina arcenda, uti etiam in pellendo ftjeto mortuo, item 
in partu difficile " (vol. ii, p. 272). 

References to such girdles or belts, called "cingulae" or "chiro- 


thecse " are to be found in the writings of Samuel Augustus Flemming 
and others. 

Human flesh, of corpses, was administered under the name of 
"Mummy." (See Beckherius, "Med. Microcos." p. 263 e< sej.) He 
enumerates no less than fifty prescriptions for all sorts of ailments. 
The " mummy " should be from a malefactor, hanged on a gibbet, 
never buried, and the age should have been between 25 and 40, of 
good constitution, without organic or other diseases, and gathered in 
clear weather. 

Human flesh occurs in recipes in "The Chyrurgeon's Closet," Lon- 
don, 1632, pp. 6, 53. 

Andrew Lang refers to the use of " mummy powder " by the physi- 
cians of the Court of Charles 11. — (" Myth," etc. vol. i. p. 96.) 

Human tallow was employed in medicine, rendered from the skin 
and other parts. It was regarded as efficacious in eradicating small- 
pox pustules, while an " oleum Philosophorum " was distilled from it 
and held in high repute for tumors, catarrhal troubles, affections of the 
ear, etc. — (Flemming, "De Remediis," p. 9.) 

Human flesh ' mumia," was recommended in the preparation of the 
best " Paracelsus salve. . . . Ptecommeuded for cure of bruises and 
against congealed blood. . . . Most excellent and most approved 



Democritus thought, in his Memoirs, quoted by Pliny, that " the 
SauII of a malefactor is most efficacious. . . . "While, for the treatment 
of others, that of one who has been a friend or guest is required." 
(Pliny, lib. xxviii. c. 2.) . . . Skull of a man who has been slain," 
and " whose body remains unbumt. . . . Skull of a man who has been 
hanged." — (Idem.) 

" Xenocrates, who, says Galen, flourished two generations or sixty 
years before him, writes with an air of confidence on the good effects 
to be obtained by eating of the human brain, flesh, or liver ; by swal- 
lowing in drink the burnt or unbumt bones of the head, shin, or fingei-s 
of a man, or the blood." — ("Saxon Leechdoms," lib. i. p. 18.) 

" Against a boring worm . . . burn to ashes a man's head-bone or 
skull; put it on with a pipe." — (Idem, vol. ii. p. 127, article "Leech 

Paracelsus gives the recipe for distilling " The Oyle of the Skull of a 


Man. . . . Take the skull of a man that was never buried, and beate it 
into powder. ("The Secrets of Physicke," Theophrastus Paracelsus, 
Eug. transl. Loudon, 1633, p. 97.) "The dose is three grains against 
the falling sickness." — (Idem.) 

Schurig notes that the human skull is a remedy for the falling sick- 
ness. — (See " Chylologia.") 

The skull of a man was used for diseases of men ; that of a woman, 
for diseases of women. — (See " Rare Secx-ets in Physicke," collected 
by the Comtesse of Keut, Loudon, 1654, p. 3.) 

Beckherius prescribed it in cephalic affections, epilepsy, paralysis, 
apoplexy, vertigo, etc., taken in powder, or raw, simply or in combina- 
tion. — (" Medicus Microcosmus," p. 199 et seq.) 

But the skull was, preferentially, " Cranii humani nunquam 
sepulti" (p. 217); or, "Cranii, humani violenter mortui " (p. 266). 
Moss from such a skull was also used medicinally (idem, p. 237). If 
possible, it should be that of a man who had been executed on a 
scaffold, " patibula." 

" Powder of a man's bones, burnt, chiefly of the skull that is found 
in the earth, given, cureth the epilepsy. The bones of a man cureth a 
man, the bones of a woman, cureth a woman." But the patient had 
to abstain from wine for nine days. — (" The Poor Man's Physician," 
John Moncrief, Edin. 1716, p. 70.) 

" Os hominis adustum," a cure for epilepsy (Avicenna, vol. i. p. 330 
a 18); "Mumia" (idem, vol. i. p. 357, a 55); "Ossa hominis in potu 
data" (idem, vol. i. p. 371, a 6). 

Epilepsie. " Take pilles made of the skull of one that is hanged." 
— (Reg. Scot. " Disco verie," p. 175.) 

The skulls of ancestors were used as drinking cups by the Tibetans, 
according to Rubruquis, in Purchas (vol. i. p. 23). 

"Among primitive people the head is peculiarly sacred." — ("The 
Golden Bough," Frazer, vol. i. p. 187.) 

Dr. Bernard Schaff gives the following formula for the cure of 
fevers : " Take a human skull from among those not enclosed in tombs, 
and calcine it in a crucible or in the open fire ; administer in doses of 
from one scruple to half a dram an hour or two before the paroxysm 
of the fever." He adds that among the common people the belief 
prevailed that the skull should be obtained at the early dawn of day, 
about the time of the winter solstice, and with the ceremonies (sacris) 
peculiar to that season, that it should be picked up in silence ; but for 
his part he does not believe in such things. 


" Recipitur cranium humanum ex ipsis qnoque sepulchrorum claii- 
stris depromptum (vulgus addit tempore matutino ante Solia ortuiu 
sub sacris angeronce, hoc est, ore tacito, aufFeratur, quod tamen, cum 
aliquam sapere videatur superstitionem, imitari nolui) et vel igne 
aperto, vel in crucibulo, calcinatur, usquedem coloreni acquirat cineri- 
tium pulverisatum hocce cranium adhibetur a 9 i. ad 3 ; i. vel ii. horas 
ante paroxysmi principio." — (" Ephem. Phys. Medic," Leipzig, 1G94, 
vol. ii. p. 93.) 

The skull of a malefactor who had died on the scaffold or wheel, 
and which had been exposed in the open air long enough to make it 
perfectly dry and white, was considered a specific in epilepsy, being much 
superior for that purpose to the skulls obtained from graveyards. 

Soldiers thought that if they drank from a human skull before going 
into battle they would secure immunity from the weapons of the enemy. 
This belief undoubtedly came into Europe with the Scythians. 

" Milites putant, si quis ex cranio humano hauriat potum fore ut sit 
immunis ab insultis armorum." — (Etrauller, vol. ii. p. 268, 269.) 

Etmuller also shows that these skulls were ground up and adminis- 
tered to epileptic patients, many modes of preparation and administra- 
tion being given. 

Flemming wrote that human skull was considered a potent remedy 
in all ailments for which practitioners would administer human brain, 

— that is, in nerve troubles and in epilepsy. Preferably, the skull 
should be taken from a corpse which had died a violent death, — 
" Quae e cadavere violenta morte extincto est desumta." It was an 
ingredient in many preparations bearing the high-sounding titles 
of "majesterium epilepticum," ''specificum cephalicuni," etc. As a 
powder, ground raw or calcined, it was sometimes administered as a 
febrifuge and in paralysis. — (" De Remediis," p. 10.) 

Mr. W. W. Rockhill states that the Lamas of Thibet use skulls in 
their religious ceremonies, but reject those which smell like human 
urine. " Blood of a dead man's skull " used to check hemorrhage. 

— (Pettigrew, " Med. Superst.," p. 113.) 

" There is a divination-bowl, — an uncanny object, made of the in- 
verted cranium of a Buddhist priest." — (" Tidbits from Tibet," in the 
"Evening Star," Washington, D. C, Nov. 3, 1888, describing the 
W. W. Rockhill collection in the National Museum.) 

Before the coming of the whites the savages of Australia employed 
human skulls as drinking-vsssels, — " human skulls with the sutures 
stopped up with a resinous gum." — (" Native Tribes of S. Australia," 


Adelaide, 1879, received through the kindness of the Royal Society, 
Sydney, New South Wales, F. B. Kyngdou, Secretary.) 

"The powder of a man's bones, and particularly that made from a 
skull found in the earth, was esteemed in Scotland as a cure for epi- 
lepsy. As usual, the form runs that the bones of a man will cure a 
man, and the bones of a woman will cure a woman. Grose notes the 
merits of the moss found growing upon a human skull, if dried and 
powdered and taken as snuff, in cases of headache." (Black, " Folk- 
Medicine," p. 96.) He also informs us that the same beliefs and the 
same remedy obtained in England and Ireland. 

" Among the articles which may be regarded more as household 
furniture . . . are the dried human skulls, which are found wrapped 
in banana-leaves in the habitation of nearly every well-regulated Dyak 
family. They are hung up on the wall, or depend from the roof. The 
lower jaw is always wanting, as the Dyak finds it more convenient to 
decapitate his victim below the occiput, leaving the lower jaw attaclied 
to his body." — (" Head-Hunters of Borneo," Carl Bock, London, 1881, 
p. 199.) 

The careful manner in which the Mandans preserved the skulls of 
their dead, as narrated by Catlin, is recalled to mind. 


The medicinal use of the moss growing on the skulls of those who 
had died violent deaths is mentioned by Von Helmout. — (" Oritrika," 
p. 768.) 

Etmuller speaks of the iisnea, or moss, growing on the skull of a 
malefactor, which was given in cases of epilepsy (vol. ii. p. 273). 

Flemming regarded such moss, if taken from the skull of a malefac- 
tor, who had been hanged or broken on the wheel, as of great effi- 
cacy in epilepsy, in bram troubles, and as a styptic for hemorrhages 
(p. 11). 

Such a moss, if dried, powdered, and taken as snuff, will cure the 
headache." — (Brand, "Popular Antiquities," vol. iii. p. 277, article 
" Physical Charms," quoting Grose. The same reference is given by 
Pettigrew, " Medical Superstitions," p. 86.) 


The human brain, dissolved or distilled in spirits of wine, was em- 
ployed in nerve troubles and as an anti-epileptic. — (Flemming, "De 
Remediis ex Corpore Humano desumtis," p. 10.) 



One might infer that habits of personal cleanliness did not prevail in 
England two centuries ago, judging from the terms of the following 
prescription, which seemingly takes as a matter of course that the 
patient could at any time obtain the insects needed : — 

" For the cure of sore eyes . . . take two or three lice out of one's 
head ; put them under the lid." — (" Rare Secrets in Physicke," col- 
lected by the Comtesse of Kent, London, 1654, p. 75.) 

The author of this work knows, from disagreeable personal experi- 
ence and observation, that the Indians of North America very generally 
were addicted to the disgusting practice of cleaning each other's heads 
and putting all captured prey in their mouths. Such an office was 
considered a very delicate attention to be paid by a woman to her 
husband or lover, or from male friend to male friend, while on a cam- 
paign. No instance was noted of the use in a medical sense of these 
troublesome parasites. 


" It is asserted that a plant growing on the head of a statue gath- 
ered in the lappet of any one of the garments, and then attached with 
a red string to the neck, is an instantaneous cure for the headache." 
(Pliny, lib. xxiv. c. 106.) This would seem to be germane to the idea 
of moss growing on the human skull, 


" The ancient Piomans attributed to wool a degree of religious im- 
portance even ; and it was in this spirit that they enjoined that the 
bride should touch the door-posts of her husband's house with wool." 
— (Pliny, lib. xxix. cap. 10.) 

" In Cumberland, England, a reputed cure for earache is the appli- 
cation of a bit of wool from a black sheep, moistened in cow's urine. 
Possibly it is a modified form of this latter notion that is found at 
Mount Desert, where it is said that the wool must be wet in new milk ; 
while in Vermont, to be efficacious, it is thought that the wool must 
be gathered from the left side of the neck of a perfectly black sheep. 
In other localities, negro's wool is a reputed cure for the same pain. 

It seems almost incredible, whatever their origin, that remedies of so 
offensive a character as many of those above given can still retain a 


place even in the rudest traditional pharmacopoeia ; but there seems to 
be in the uneducated human mind a sort of reverence for or faith in 
that which is in itself disagreeable or repulsive. This idea apparentl}' 
rules instead of rational judgment in the selection of many popular 
remedies in the shape of oils of the most loathsome description, such 
as " skunk-oil," " angle-worm oil" (made by slowly rendering earth- 
worms in the sun) , " snake-oil " of various kinds, etc. — (" Animal and 
Plant Lore," Mrs. Fanny D. Bergen, in " Popular Science Monthly," 
New York, September, 1888, p. 658.) 

In the application of human blood and human skulls just presented, 
one feature must be patent to the most superficial student ; in the 
treatment of epilepsy, the blood or the skull was, preferentially, to be 
that of a dying gladiator or a criminal. There was evidently a reason 
for this, beyond mere expediency. 

Gladiatorial games were instituted as sacred games, in which the 
victims to be offered in sacrifice were determined by the destiny of 
the combat. Long after man's better reason and better nature had 
revolted against the loathsome rites of human sacrifice, religion and 
custom still held him in their clutches. He would not offer up his 
own progeny, as of yore, but he still continued to immolate captives 
taken in war, as so many gladiators had been, or offenders against 
the laws. 

The victim generally shared with the sacrificing priest the honor 
of representing the deity in whose name his life was to be taken. 
Consequently he became holy ; everything belonging to him became 
" medicine," and in no disease could it be administered more effica- 
ciously than in epilepsy, — the essentially " sacred disease " (morbus 
sacer) sent direct from the gods. 

Moreover, criminals executed for violations of the laws of conquering 
nations, or for infractions of the discipline, or contempt of the doctrines 
of a triumphant religion, might, by the conquered rustics, who still 
cherished a half-concealed veneration for the old rulers and supplanted 
rites, be looked upon as martyrs, whose bones, blood, and crania 
would relieve disease and drive away misfortune. 

The idea of sanctity, too, attached to " iinioccnt maids and boys," 
whose undefiled blood might rectify the polluted fluid that coursed 
languidly through the veins of the leper. 

The belief that the gods are to be gratified and propitiated by the 
spectacle of human suffering, especially when self-inflicted, has been 


current from the first ages of the world, and will most probably last, 
iu one form or another, as long as the world shall last. It has cropped 
out in every shape, from the rigorous abstinence of the ascetic to the 
brutal flagellation of the fanatical devotee, and from that to the emas- 
culation of the Galli, the Khlysthi, and the Hottentot, and the 
self-immolation of the servant of Juggernath. Maurice enumerates 
five different kinds of meritorious suicide yet recognized in Hindostan, 
and we have no reason for refusing to believe that our own ancestors 
were saturated with the same false notions, which, retaining their 
hold upon the minds of an illiterate peasantry, would surround with 
the mystery of holiness any act of self destruction attributable to 
mania or other impulse supposed to be from on high. 


" If a circle is traced round an ulcer with a human bone, it will be 
effectually prevented from spreading." — (Pliny, lib. xxviii. c. 11.) 

Etmuller believed that by the use of an unbroken human bone it 
was possible to induce as copious a purgation as might be desired. 
" Beneficio ossis humani integri potest fieri purgatio artificialis tanta 
quantum volumus," etc. — (Etmuller, vol. ii. p. 273.) 

" * Holy oyle of dead men's bones,' good for the * falling sickness.' " 
— ('• The Newe Jewell of Health," George Baker, Chirurgeon, Lon- 
don, 1576, black letter, p. 170. 

Beckherius prescribed human bones iu medicine. — (See "Med. Mi- 
crocos.," p. 252 et seq.) 

Etmuller, not content with prescribing the bones ground into pow- 
der, also directed the administration of human marrow (vol. ii. p. 268). 


" A tooth taken from a body before burial," worn as an amulet, 
cured toothache. — (Pliny, lib. xxviii. c. 12.) 

"The first tooth that a child has shed," worn as an amulet, protects 
from pain in the uterus. — (Idem, lib. xxviii. c. 7.) 

Pounded dead men's teeth were used in fumigating the genitalia 
of persons " ligated " by witchcraft. — (See Frommann, " Tract, de 
Fascin.," p. 965.) 

Etmuller taught that the teeth were similar to the bones, and used 
iu the alleviation of the same infirmities. Those drawn from the jaws 
of a man who had died a violent death were highly commended for 


all sickness brought on by witchcraft, as well as for loss of virility. 
" Ossibus similes sunt deutes, qui ipsi ex homine imprimis violeuta 
raorte interempto coramendatur ad morbos per venelicium, si nimium 
et illis fiat suffitus ; item in impotentia" (vol. ii. p. 273). 

" Si deutes pueri, imprimis cum cadunt, suspendautur antcquam ad 
tcrram deveniant et ponantur in lamina argenti et suspendautur supra 
mulieres eas pruhibeut impregnari et parere " (idem, p. 263). 

Teeth are worn as amulets by pregnant women or ground into 
powder, and taken in a potion ; in both forms, believed to be useful in 
averting the plague. Powdered teeth, drunk in wine, cured epilepsy, 
and restored impaired virility. — (Flemming, "De Remediis," p. 13.) 
■ " Knock a tooth that is pulled out into the bark of a young tree." — 
(Grimm, "Teutonic Mythology," vol. iii. p. 1173.) 

Human teeth, bones, and other parts of dead bodies are still used 
by the negroes in our Southern States in their " voudoo " ceremonies, 
and as charms, in the old-time belief that their possession secures a 
man invisibility. See an article on this subject in the " Evening 
Star," of Washington, D. C, January 1, 1889. 

" In North Hants, a tooth taken from the mouth of a corpse is often 
enveloped in a little bag and worn around the neck to secure the 
wearer against headache. ... In the northeast of Scotland, the suf- 
ferer was required to pull with his own teeth a tooth from the skull." 
— ("Folk -Medicine," Black, p. 98.) 

The use of human teeth and fingers as "charms," "amulets," and 
"medicine," will be treated of in another work, at greater length. At 
present it will be sufficient to call attention to the great potency asso- 
ciated in the minds of the American aborigines with such relics. The 
author obtained, in one of General Crook's campaigns, in a battle with 
the Northern Cheyennes, in northern Wyoming, in the winter of 1870, 
a necklace of human fingers, the prized adornment and " medicine " 
of the chief medicine-man. This curious link between the savagerj' 
of America and the superstitions of Europe is now in the National 
Museum, Washington, D. C 

Flemming prescribed the ground bones of criminals (raw or burnt), 
as an internal medicine for gout, dysentery, etc. ; but he did not limit 
himself to human bones, as he expressly states that, as a substitute, 
the bones of horses, asses, or other beasts could be employed. (" De 
Remediis," p. 12.) 



PauUini goes so far as to recommend the use of the tartar impurities 
from the teeth, and the dirt from soiled stockings, as a remedy for 
nose-bleed. (Piiullini, p. 52.) 

In this he most probably follows an ancient line of practice, of 
which other authors have neglected to give a detailed account. Galen 
and others have shown that the scrapings from the body, and all 
other "sordes" were used medicinally, and there was no reason why 
dental tartar should not be added to the materia medica. 


Calculi were used in the treatment of calculary troubles and in 
childbirth. — (Pliny, lib. xxvii. cap. 9. See also Galen.) 

Prescribed for stone in the bladder or kidneys by Beckherius. — 
("Med. Microcosmus," pp. 167-170.) 

Flemming advocates the same use of them. — (" De Remediis," 
p. 23.) 

" A man's stone, drunk fasting, is most powerful of any to break the 
stone and expel it with the urine." — "The Poor Man's Physician," 
Moncrief, p. 131.) 

Flemming also used biliary calculi in the cure of yellow jaundice. 
— ("De Remediis," p. 14.) 

Human bile was used internally in epilepsy, and externally in deaf- 
ness and ulcerations of the ear. — (Idem.) 


From the most ancient times there were used in the medical prac- 
tice of Europe certain stones, known as belemnites, thunder-stones, 
lyncurius, etc., believed to be efficacious in treatment of stone in the 
bladder. This lyncurius was regarded as the coagulated urine of the 
lynx, and under that phase of the case properly comes within the scope 
of this volume. — (See " Pomet on Drugs," English translation, Lon- 
don, 1738, p. 408.) 

The " bezoar " stone, so frequently alluded to by old writers, was 
simply excrementitious matter hardened in an animal's stomach. 


Pigeon's dung was applied externally for all spots and blemishes on 
the face. (Pliny, lib. xxx. cap. 9.) Mouse-dung, externally, for lichens. 


(Idem.) "Brand Marks " (stigmata) were removed by using pigeon's 
dung diluted in vinegar. (Idem, lib. xxx. cap 10.) Crocodile-dung, or 
" crocodilea," removed blemishes from the face. (Idem, lib. xxxviii. 
caps. 29, 50.) It also removed freckles. 

'* An application of bull-dung, they say, will impart a rosy tint to 
the cheeks, and not even crocodilea. is better for the purpose." — 
(Idem, lib. xxviii. cap. 50.) 

Galen alludes to the extensive use as a cosmetic, by the Greek and 
Eoman ladies, of the dung of the crocodile ; in the same manner, the 
dung of starlings that had been fed on rice alone was employed. — 
(Galen, " Opera Omnia," Kuhn's edition, lib. xxx. p. 308.) 

Dioscorides prescribed crocodile-dung as a beautifier of the faces of 
women. — (" Mat. Med.," vol. i. p. 222 et seq.) 

BviU-dung was used by women as a cosmetic to remove all facial 
blemishes. — (Sextus Placitus, " De Med. ex Animal.," article " De 

The urine of a boy took away freckles from a face washed with it. 
" Ad profluvium mulieris, si locum saepe lotio viri laverit." For birth- 
marks ou children take the crust which gathers on urine standing in 
chamber-pots, break up and bake ; place the child in the bath, and 
rub the marks well. " Ad maculas infantium, matellae quae crustem 
ex lotio duxerint, fractae et coctae, in balneo infantem, si ex eo un- 
xeris omnia supra-scripta emendat." — (Idem, *' De Puello et Puella 

Beckherius approved of the use of the meconium of infants to erase 
birthmarks. — ("Med. Microcos.," p. 113.) 

Etmuller states that from cow-dung, as well as from human ordure, 
by repeated digestion and distillation and sublimation, was prepared 
" Zibethum Occidentale," so named by Paracelsus. From this was 
distilled the " water of all flowers," so termed because the cattle had 
eaten so many flowers in their pasturage. This was passing good as a 
cosmetic to remove pimples and all kinds of blotches. 

Human ordure itself was made use of for the same purpose (vol. ii. 

p. 171). 

" 'T is stale to have a coxcomb kiss your hands 
While yet the chamber-lye is scarce wiped off." 
(" Ram Alley," Ludowick Barry, London, 1611, edition of London, 1825.) 

Dog-urine was prescribed to restore the color of the hair. — (Avi- 
cenna, vol. ii. p. 333, a 50.) 


" Alopecia " (baldness) was cured by mouse-dung (idem, vol. i. p. 360, 
b50), and by "stercus caprarum." — (Idem, vol. i. p. 389, b .53.) 

" Urina canis putrefucta conservat nigredinem capillorum." — (Idem, 
vol. ii. p. 333, a 50.) 

Reclus says that even now, in Paris, many people who have within 
reach the best of toilet waters prefer to use urine as a detersive. — 
(See " Les Primitifs," p. 72, " Les Inoits Occidentaux.") 

The Ove-herero, living south of Angola, West Africa, rub their 
bodies with dry cow-dung to impart lustre. — (" Muhongo," interpreted 
by Rev. Mr. Chatelain.) 

" Aqua omnium florum " was distilled from the dung of cows dropped 
in the month of May. " Verno sen Maiali tempore ... ex stercore 
recenti vaccse herbas depascentis." (Etmuller, vol. ii. p. 249.) " Ex 
hoc ipso stercore, eodem modo atque ex stercore humano per diges- 
tionem et sublimationem, repetitam potest preparari Zibethum Occi- 
dentale, sic dictum a Paracelso, quoniam suavem spirat instar Zibethi. 
Destillatur aqua ex hoc stercore quae vocatur aqua omnium florum, 
quia bos innumeris floribus vescitur ; haec aqua omnium florum est 
singulare cosmeticum applicatum externe delendis naevis et maculis in 
fticie." — (Etmuller, vol. ii. pp. 249, 250.) 

Some people added to this a " water distilled from the sperm of 
frogs." — (Idem, vol. ii. p. 171, 172.) 

Catamenial blood was supposed to be a remedy for pimples on the 
face. (Idem, p. 265.) In portions of Northern Mexico the women 
apply it to their faces as a beautifier. 

Cow-dung was very generally relied upon in this sense. The dung 
of a black cow entered into the composition of the celebrated " Eau de 
Mille Fleurs." The ordure of small lizards was also used to smooth 
out the wrinkles from the faces of old women. 

Fox-dung and the dung of sparrows and starlings were in use for 
softening the hands. Arabian women use as a cosmetic a mixture of 
saffron and chicken-dung. Cow-dung is sometimes as aromatic as 
musk. It used to be employed to restore the odor to old and faded 
musk, or to hang the latter in a privy, where it would re-acquire 
its former strength ; but would not retain it long (see under 

To improve the complexion Paullini recommended a water dis- 
tilled from human excrements ; also the worms that grow therein 
distilled to a water. The cosmetic of country wenches is their own 


Hiinifin excrements have peculiar salts more strengthening and use- 
ful tiian soap. A young girl improved her complexion wonderfully by 
washing her face in cow-dung and drinking her brother's urine fresh 
and warm, while fasting (pp. 263, 264). 

Other cosmetics commended by Paullini were human ordure, exter- 
nally ; the ordure of a young boy, internally ; " Eau de Millefleurs," 
the excreta of lizards, crocodiles, foxes, sparrows, starlings, chickens, oi- 
of cows gathered in May, externally. 

See also pages 172, 207. 

For the eradication of freckles Paullini also recommended the exter- 
nal application of the excrement of donkeys, dogs, chickens, crocodiles, 
foxes, or pigeons. 

Scliurig was a champion of " Aqua ex stercore distillata," for all 
facial embellishment. — (" Chylologia," p. 762.) 

" II y a plus ; les fenimes les plus belles s'cn sont barbouille le 
visage, et Saint Jerome le reproche durement aux dames de son 
temps." In a footnote is added this explanation : " On a employe 
des excremens de quelques lizards d'Egypte comme cosmetique, a 
cause de leur odeur musquee." ("Bib. Scat.," p. 21.) " Mcrde de 
Lezard c'est le cordilea, excrement du stellion du Levant, employe 
comme cosmetique." — (Idem, p. 123.) 

" Wash the face with the diaper on which a new-born babe has 
urinated for the first time, it will remove freckles." — (Cape Breton, 
Mrs. Fanny D. Bergen, Cambridge, Mass.) 

This belief in the cosmetic power of the first renal discharge of a 
child is generally diffused all over the United States. 

" Enfin, les nourrices entre nous, ont I'habitude de frotter la figure 
de leurs nourrissans avec les langes imbibes de leur urine. Cela les 
fait venir beau, disent-elles, cela combat en tout cas, certaines efllorcsce- 
ments cutances chez les enfants, par I'ammoniaque." — (Personal 
letter from Doctor Bernard, Cannes, France.) 

Prof Patrice de Janon states that the ladies of his native place, 
Carthagena, South America, to his personal knowledge, were in the 
habit of using their own urine as a face lotion, and to beautify and 
soften the skin. 

Horse-dung was another face lotion. — (" A Rich Storehouse or 
Treasurie for the Diseased," Ralph Blower, London, 1616, p. 106.) 

Goose-dung is in repute in the State of Indiana for removing pimples. 
— (Mi's. Bergen.) 

Mr. Sylvester Baxter says that young women in M.assachusetts, at 


least until very recently, have employed human urine as a wash for 
the preservation of the complexion. 

" Water that stands in the concavity of a patch of cow-dung " is the 
belief in Walden, Mass., according to Mrs. Bergen, who thus shows a 
transplantation of the same belief which has lingered in Europe from 
remote ages. 





A S a connecting link between pharmacy proper and the antidotes to 
the effects of witchcraft, and at the same time fully deserving of a 
separate place on its own merits, may be inserted a chapter upon 
talismans and amulets made of excrementitious materials. 

" From the cradle, modern Englishmen are taught to fight an angry 
battle against superstition, and they treat a talisman or charm with 
some disdain and contempt. But let us reflect that those playthings 
tended to quiet and reassure the patient, to calm his temper, and soothe 
his nerves, — objects, which, if we are not misinformed, the best practi- 
tioners of our own day willingly obtain by such means as are left 

Whether a wise physician will deprive a humble patient of his roll 
of magic words or take from his neck the fairy stone, I do not know ; 
but this is certain, that the Christian church of that early day, and the 
medical science of the empire by no means refused the employment of 
these arts of healing, these balms of superstitious origin. 

" The reader may enjoy his laugh at such devices, but let him remem- 
ber that dread of death and wakeful anxiety must be hushed by some 
means, for they are very unfriendly to recovery from disease." — ("Saxou 
Leechdoms," vol. i. p. 11.) 

Cat-dung, " to be attached to the body with the toe of a horned 
owl " and " not to be removed until the seventh paroxysm is passed," 
was the amulet recommended by Pliny for the cure of the quartan 
fever. — (Lib. xxviii. c. 66.) 

Sextus Placitus, "De Puello et Puella Virgine," recommends the 
use of calculi to aid in the expulsion of calculi, either ground into a 
powder or hung about the patient's neck as an amulet ; in the latter 
case, he says, the cure is more gradual. 

Roman matrons used a small stone found in the excrement of a hind 
"attached to the body as an amulet," as "a preventive of abortion." 
— (Pliny, lib. xxviii. c. 77.) 


In retarded dentition, there was a bag suspended from the infant's 
neck, in which was a powder, made of equal parts of the dung of hares, 
wolves, and crows. — (Schurig, " Chylologia," p. 820). 

"Wolf's dung, borne with one, helps the colic." — (Burton, "Anat- 
omy of Melancholy," vol. ii. p. 134.) 

Burton, in his "Anatomy of Melancholy," 1621, p. 476, has the fol- 
lowing passage on this subject : "Amulets I find prescribed ; taxed by 
some, approved by others." — (Quoted by Brand, " Pop. Aut." vol. ii. 
p. 324, article " Amulets.") 

No explanation can be ventured upon for the following charm, which 
had a very extended dissemination throughout Europe, and can be 
traced back to " Saxon Leechdoms," vol. x. p. 33. 

" Many magic writings are simply invocations of the devil ... A 
woman obtained an amulet to cure sore eyes. She refrained from 
shedding tears and her eyes recovered. On a zealous friend opeuing 
the paper, these words were found : " Der teufel kratze dir die augeu 
aus, uud sclieisse dir in die locher," and, naturally, when the woman 
saw that it was in this she had trusted, she lost faith, began to weep 
again, and in due time found her eyes as bad as ever, ("Folk Medi- 
cine," Black, p. 171.) The same charm was also, in other places, 
written in Latin, in this form : " Diabolus effodiat tibi oculos, impleat 
foramina stercoribus." It is quoted by Pettigrew, in " Medical Supersti- 
tions, p. 102 ; also by Brand, " Pop. Ant." vol. iii. p. 324, article 

Translated into English it is thus rendered by Eeginald Scot: — 

" The devil pull out both thine eyes, 
Aud etihs in the holes likewise." 

"Spell the word backward and you shall see this charm." — ("Dis- 
coverie of witchcraft," London, 1651, p. 178.) 

" For diphtheria, a poultice consisting of the fresh excrement of the 
hog, is worn about the neck for one night. (Fayette County.) — 
("Folk-Lore of the Penn'a Germans," in "Journal of American Folk- 
Lore," 1889, p. 29, W. J. Hoffman, M. D.) 

For diseases in the kidneys, as an amulet xapajipaiaO, which means 
"viscera" in Hebrew: "In cubili canis urinam faciat qui urinam uou 
potest continere, dicatque dum facit, ne in cubili suo urinam ut canis 
faciat." — (" Saxon Leechdoms," vol. i. p. 31. See also under Grand 
Lama, love -philters, mistletoe, witchcraft.) 

Each and every one of the remedies inserted here under the title of 


" Witchcraft," might with perfect propriety have been comprehended 
under the caption of " Pharmacy," but the intention was to differentiate 
the two in the hope of attaining greater clearness in treatment. Under 
" Pharmacy," therefore, have been retained all remedies for the allevia- 
tion of known disorders, while under "Witchcraft" are tabulated all 
that were to be administered or applied for the amelioration of ailments 
of an obscure type, the origin of wliich the ignorant sufferer would un- 
hesitatingly seek in the malevolence of supernatural beings or in the 
machinations of human foes possessed of occult influences. Side by 
bide with these, very properly go all such aids as were believed to 
insure better fortime in money-making, travelling, etc. 

"A mixture of ape's-dung and chameleon-dung was applied to the 
doors of one's enemy. . . . He will, through its agency, become the 
object of universal hatred." — (Pliny, lib, xxviii. c. 29.) 

" The excrements (i. e. of the hyena) which have been voided by 
the animal at the moment when killed, are looked upon as counter- 
charms to magic spells." — (Idem, c. 27.) 

" For young girls they (i. e. the magicians) prescribe nine pellets of 
hare's dung to ensure a durable firmness to the breasts." — (Idem, 
c. 77.) 

Doctor Dupouy believes that when the Druids " were forced to take 
refuge in dense forests far removed from the people, persecuted by the 
Romans, barbarians, and Christians, they progressively became magi- 
cians, enchanters, prophets, and charmers, condemned by the Councils 
and banished by the civil authority. It is at this epoch that evil 
spirits were noticed prowling around in the shadows of night and in- 
dulging in acts of obscene depravity. ... In the seventh century 
Druidism diasppeared, but the practice of magic, occult art, and the 
mysterious science of spirits were transmitted from generation to gen- 
eration but lessened in losing the philosophical character of ancient 
times." — (" Le Moyen Age Medical," or its translation, " Physicians 
in the Middle Ages," T. C. Minor, M. D., Cincinnati, Ohio, p. 38.) 




T^HERE is but one method of arriving at a correct understanding of 
-*- wliat witchcraft was, as known to civiHzed communities, and tluit 
is by placing it under the lens of investigation as a mutilated and dis- 
torted survival of a displaced religion. 

The very earliest records of man's thought, the alabaster and earthen 
tablets of Chaldea and Assyria, allude to the evil eye, to incantations, 
and to the fear of evil spirits, witches, and sorcerers. 

" Nevertheless, the Chaldean tablets do not leave us without any 
insight into witchcraft, as their formulae were destined to counteract 
the effects of the sorceries of this impious art, as well as the spontan- 
eous action of demons." — ("Chaldean Magic," Francois Lenormant, 
London, 1877, p. 59 ; for the Chaldean's dread of the Evil Eye, see 
the same work, p. 61.) 

"One fine series (i. e. of Chaldean tablets) deals with remedies 
against witchcraft." — ("The Chaldean Account of Genesis," George 
Smith, New York, 1880, p. 28.) 

" There is finally a third species of magic, thoroughly diabolical in 
character, and openly acknowledging itself as such. This kind helps 
to perpetuate. . . by still believing in their power and transforming 
them into dark practices, the rites of adoration of the ancient gods, 
considered as demons after the triumph of the new religion, the exclu- 
sive spirit of which repudiates all association with the remains of the 
old worship. The enchanter in this case, far from considering himself 
an inspired and divine personage, consents, provided he reaps all the 
benefit of his magic practices, to be nothing more than the tool of the 
bad and infernal powers. He himself sees devils in the ancient gods 
evoked by his spells, but he nevertheless remains confident of their 
protection ; he engages himself in their service by compacts, and fan- 
cies himself going to a witch-dance in their company. The greater 


part of the magic of the Middle Ages bears this character and perpet- 
uates the popular and superstitious rites of paganism in the mysteri- 
ous and diabolical operations of sorcery. It is the same with the 
magic of most Mussulman countries. In Ceylon, since the complete 
conversion of the island to Buddhism, the ancient gods of Sivaism have 
become demons, and their worship a guilty sorcer}' practised only by 
enchanters." — ("Chaldean Magic," Lenormant, p. 77.) 

Human and animal filth are mentioned in nearly every treatise upon 
witchcraft, under three different heads : — 

Firstly, as the means by which the sorcery is accomplished. 

Secondly, as the antidote by which such machinations are frustrated. 

Thirdly, as the means of detecting the witch's personality. 

Much that might have been included within this chapter has been 
arranged under the caption of "Love-Philters" and "Child-Birth," 
and should be examined under those heads. 

The subject of amulets and talismans is another that is so closely 
connected with the matter of which we are now treating, that it must 
be included in any investigation made in reference to it. 

Exactly where the science of medicine ended, and the science of 
witchcraft began, there is no means of knowing ; like Astrology and 
Astronomy, they were twin sisters, issuing from the same womb, and 
travelling amicably hand in hand for many years down the trail of 
civilization's development ; long after medicine had won for herself a 
proud position in the world of thought and felt compelled through 
shame to repudiate her less-fiivored comrade in public, the strictest 
and closest relations were maintained in the seclusion of private life. 

Among the counter-charms too are reckoned the practice of spitting 
into the urine the moment it is voided." — (Pliny, lib, xxviii. cap. 7.) 

" Goat's dung attached to infants, in a piece of cloth, prevents them 
from being restless, female infants in particular." (Idem, cap. 78.) 
This was probably a survival from times still more ancient, when in- 
fants were sometimes suckled by goats, and it was a good plan to have 
them thoroughly familiarized with the smell, — the hircine or caprine 

" In cases of fire, if some of the dung can be brought away from the 
stalls, both sheep and oxen may be got out all the more easily, and 
will make no attempt to return." — (Idem, cap. 81.) 

The adepts in magic expressly forbid a person, when about to make 
water, to uncover the body in the face of the sun or moon, or to 
sprinkle with his urine the shadow of any oVyect whatsoever. Hesiod 


gives a precept recommending persons to make water against an ob- 
ject standing full before them, that no divinity may be offended by 
their nakedness being uncovered. Osthanes maintains that every one 
who drops some urine upon his foot in the morning will be proof 
against all noxious medicaments." — (Idem, lib. xxviii. cap. 19.) 

The adepts in the magical art also believed that " it is improper 
to spit into the sea, or to profane that element by any other of the 
evacuations that are inseparable from the infirmities of human nature." 
— (Idem, lib. xxx. cap. 6, speaking of the disinclination of the Arme- 
nian magician, Tiridates, to visit the Emperor Xero by sea.) 

The Thibetans share these scruples. Among the things prohibited 
to their " Bliikshuni," or monks and nuns, are : "Ne pas se soulager 
dans de I'eau quand on n'est pas malade, n'y cracher, n'y moucher y 
vomir, ni y Jeter quoi que soit de sale." — (" Pratimoksha Sutra," trans- 
lated by V. W. Rockhill, Paris, 1884, Soc. Asiatiqne.) 

It was believed that a dog would not bark at a man who carried 
hare's dung about his person. — (See Pliny, lib. xxx. cap. 53.) 

" The therionaca . . . has the effect of striking wild beasts of all 
kinds with a torpor which can only be dispelled by sprinkling them 
with the urine of the hyena." (Idem, lib. xxiv. cap. 102.) The hyena 
was regarded as an especially "magical" animal. — (Idem, lib. xxviii.) 

•' The magicians tell us that, after taking the ashes of a wild-boar's 
genitals in urine, the patieut must make water in a dog-kennel, and 
repeat the following formula : " This I do that I may not wet my bed, 
as a dog does.' " — (Idem, lib. xxviii. cap. 60.) 

Some of these ideas would appear to have crossed the Atlantic. In 
the United States, a generation or less ago, boys were wont to urinate 
" criss-cross " for good luck, and were careful not to let any of their 
wrine fall on their own shadows. — (Col. F. A. Seelye, Anthropological 
Society, and others, Washington, D. C.) 

In Minden, Westphalia, Germany, boys will urinate criss-cross, and 
SJiy, " Kreuspissen, morgenstirbstein-Jude " (" Let us piss criss-cross, 
a Jew will die to-morrow"). — (Personal letter from Dr. Franz Boas, 
Clark University, Worcester, Mass.) 

" Nor ever defile the currents of rivers flowing seaward, nor fountains, 
but specially avoid it." — ("Opera et Dies," Rev. J. Banks, London, 
1856, p. 115.) 

" Sorcerers try to procure some of a man's excrement, and put it in 
his food in order to kill him." — ("Muhongo," a boy from Angola, 
Africa, personal interview, interpretation by Eev. Mr. Chatelain.) 


** Muhongo " also said that to " add one's urine, even unintentionally, 
to the food of another bewitches that other, and does him grievous 

Democritus says of the stone " aspisatis : " " Patients should 
wear it attached to the body with camel's dung." (Quoted in Pliny, 
lib. xxvii. cap. 54.) The same book tells us that stones of this kind 
were worn generally by gladiators, Milo of Crotona being mentioned 
:i3 one. What " aspisatis " was cannot be learned. 

" Another thing universally acknowledged, and one which I am 
ready to believe with the greatest pleasure, is the fact that if the door- 
posts are only touched with the menstruous fluid, all spells of the 
magicians will be neutralized." — (Pliny, lib. xxviii. cap. 24.) 

" Osthanes, who accompanied Xerxes, the Persian king, in his expe- 
dition against Greece, . . . the first person, so far as I can ascertain, 
who wrote upon magic." (Idem, lib, xxx. cap. 3.) He adds, speaking of 
magic : " Britannia still cultivates this art, and that with ceremonials 
so august that she might almost seem to have been the first to com- 
municate them to Persia." — (Idem, lib. xxx. cap. 4.) 

For the relief of infants from phantasm, wrap some goat-dung in a 
cloth and hang it about the child's neck. "Ad infantes qui fantasma- 
tibus vexantur, caprse stercus in panno involutum, et coUo suspensmn 
remedium est infantibus qui fantasmata patiuntur." — (Sextus Placi- 
tus, " De Capro.") 

" With Plinius was contemporary Joseph or Josephus. The tales 
about the mandrake, much later on, and found in the Saxon herliarium, 
are traceable to what he says of the Baaras, — an herb that runs away 
from the man that wants to gather it, and won't stop until one throws 
on it ovpov ywat/cos ^ to efxfjirjvov aifxa, for nastiness is often an element 
of mysteries ; and even then it kills tlie dog that draws it out. It is 
not certain that mandrake berries are meant in Genesis, xxx. 14." — 
("Saxon Leechdoms," vol. i. p. 16.) 

Dulaure says that the repute in which mandrake was held was due 
to its resemblance to the human form, and to the lies told to the 
superstitious about it, one being that " ils disent qu'il est engeudre des- 
sous un gibet de I'urine d'un larron pendu." — (" Des Differens Cultes," 
Paris, 1825, vol. ii. p. 255, footnote.) 

" For a man haunted by apparitions work a drink of a white hound's 
thost or dung in bitter ley ; wonderfully it healeth." (" Saxon Leech- 
doms," vol. i. p. 3G5.) This same " thost," or dung, was recommended 
in the treatment of nits and other insects on children, for dropsy (in- 


ternally), and to drive away the "Dwarves," who were believed to have 
seized upon the patient afflicted with convulsions. 

" Doors of houses are smeared with cow-dung and nimba-leaves, as a 
preservative from poisonous reptiles." — (Moor's " Hindu Pantheon," 
London, 1810, p. 23.) 

" In some parts of Western Africa, when a man returns home after 
a long absence, before he is allowed to visit his wife he must wash his 
pei'son with a particular fluid, and receive from the sorcerer a certain 
mark on his forehead, in order to counteract any magic spell which a 
stranger woman may have cast upon him in his absence, and which 
might be communicated through him to the women of his village," — 
(" The Golden Bough," Frazer, vol. i. p. 157.) 

We are not informed what this " particular fluid " was, but enough 
has been adduced concerning the African's belief in the potency of 
human urine in cases similar to the above to warrant the insertion at 
this point. 

" On returning from an attempted ascent of the great African 
mountain, Kilimanjaro, which is believed by the neighboring tribes to 
be tenanted by dangerous demons, Mr. 'New and his party, as soon as 
they reached the borders of the inhabited country, were disenchanted 
by the inhabitants, being sprinkled with ' a professionally prepared 
liquor, supposed to possess the potency of neutralizing evil influences, 
and removing the spell of wicked spirits.'" — (Idem, vol. i. p. 151, 
quoting Charles New, " Life, Wanderings, and Labors in Eastern 

That the Eskimo believed in the power of human ordure to baffle 
witchcraft would seem to be intimated in the following from Boas : 
" Though the Angekok understood the schemes of the old hag, he fol- 
lowed the boy, and sat down with her. She feigned to be very glad to 
see him and gave him a dishful of soup, which he began to eat. But 
by the help of his tornaq [that is, the magical influence which aided 
him] the food fell right through him into a vessel which he had put be- 
tween his feet on the floor of the hut. This he gave to the old witch, 
and compelled her to eat it. She died as soon as she had brought the 
first spoonful to her mouth." — (" The Central Eskimo," Franz Boas, 
in " Sixth Annual Report " Bureau of Ethnology, Washington.) 

" Osthanes, the magician, prescribed the dipping of our feet, in the 
morning, in human urine, as a preventative against charms." — 
(Brand, " Pop. Ant.," vol. iii. p. 286.) 

Frommann writes that human ordure, menses, and semen were 


mixed in the food of the person to be bewitched. — (" Tractatus de 
Fascinatione," p. G83.) 

On another page this list is increased to read that human ordure, 
urine, blood, hair, nails, bones, skulls, and the moss growing on the 
last-named, as well as animal excrement, were among the materials 
employed in witchcraft." — (Idem, p. 684.) 

If fried beans be thrown into excrement, for each bean thus wasted 
a pustule will appear on the fundament of the thrower. " Pisa frixa 
injecta excrementis tot pustulas in podice excitant quot pisa." 
(Idem, p. 1023.) The following passage is not fully understood : 
" Vesicatorio excrementis adhuc calentibus imposito intestina corro- 
sione afficiuntur." It seems to mean that the entrails will be affected 
wnth corrosion when hot excrement is placed in a bladder, probably 
after the manner of some of the sausages of which we have elsewhere 
taken notes. Hot ashes or cinders thrown upon recently voided 
excrement will cause inflammation and pustules in ano. For the same 
reason we can cause those who are absent to purge without using 
medicine upon them. " Cineres calidi, vel prunse candentes scybalis 
recentibus injecta inflammationem et pustulas in ano excitant. . . . 
Eadera ratione absentes sine medicamentis purgari posse, scribit Tile- 
mannus de Mater. Medic, p. 251. (Idem, p. 1623.) Frommann also 
adds that this fact was well known to the English and French, as well 
as to the Germans." — (Idem, p. 1037.) 

Human ordure and urine were burned with live coals as a potent 
charm. The person whose excreta had been burned would suffer ter- 
rible pains in the rectum. But this could be used in two ways, 
for love as well as hatred could be induced by this means, between 
married people and between old friends. — (Paullini, pp. 264, 26.5.) 

For the use of urine by the Eskimo to ward off the maleficence of 
witches, turn back to citations taken from Pink's " Tales and Tra- 
ditions of the Eskimo," where it is shown that they still use it with 
this object in cases of childbirth. See, also, the notes taken from the 
writings of Dr. Franz Boas. 

A bone from the leg or thigh of a man who had died a violent 
death, emptied of its marrow, and then filled with human ordure, 
closed up with wax, and placed in boiling water, compelled the unfor- 
tunate ejector of the excrement to evacuate just as long as the bone 
was kept in the water, and it could even be so used that he would be 
compelled to defile his bed every night. *' Os ex pede, vel brachio, vcl 
femore hominis violenta morte interempti, et hoc exempta medulla 


impletur cum stercore alicujus horainis, foramina obturantur cum cera 
et sic in aquam calidam immittitur, hoc quamdiu jacet in aqua calida, 
tamdiu expurgatur iste, cujus stercus fuit inclusum, adeo ut sic ali- 
quem usque ad mortem purgare possimus, potest etiam fieri alio modo 
ut quis omni nocte lectum suum maculet, sed est ludicrum." — (Et- 
muller, vol. ii. pp. 272, 273.) 

The small bones of the human leg are used in the sorcery of the 
Australians. (See " Native Tribes of South Australia," Adelaide, 
1879, p. 276 ; received through the kindness of the Eoyal Society, 
Sydney, New South Wales, F. B. Kyngdon, Secretary.) 

" In order to produce a flux in the belly, it was only necessary to 
put a patient's excrement into a human bone, and throw it into a 
stream of water." The above is quoted from the medical writings of 
"Peter of Spain, who was archbishop, and afterwards pope, under the 
name of John XXI." — (" Physicians of the Middle Ages," T. C. 
Minor, p. 6.) 

Schurig names many authors to show that in cases of " incivility," 
such as the placing of excrement at the door of one's neighbor, the 
person offended had a sure remedy in his own hands. He was to take 
some of the excrement of the offending party, mix it with live coals 
or hot ashes, and throw it out in the street ; or he could burn pepper 
and wine together, with such fecal matter ; or he could heat an iron 
to white heat, insert it in the excrement, and as fast as it cooled 
repeat the operation ; as often as this was done, so often would the 
guilty one suffer pains in the anus. Other remedies were, to mix 
spirits of wine and salt together, sprinkle upon the offensive matter, 
then place a red-hot iron above it, and confer the same pains, which 
would not leave the offending person's anus during the whole of that 
day, unless he cured himself with new milk. Or small peas could be 
heated in a frying-pan, and then thrown out with fresh excrement ; as 
many as there were peas, so many would be the pains endured by the 
delinquent. The following are some of the paragraphs in the original 
from Schurig : " Contra incivilitatem quorundam qui loca consueta et 
fores aliorum stercoribus suis commaculant, pro coiTectione inservire 
potest, si fimus eorundem simpliciter prunis aut cineribus calidis in- 
jectus vel etiam vino adusto et pipere simul insperso uratur vel cre- 
metur; aut si vero vel aliud ferrum in ignem ut ignescat, immittatur, 
ac dein ferrum illud candens in excrementa ilia infigatur ; frigefactum 
denuom calefiat eademque opera ssepe repetatur ; tunc tantis cruciati- 
bus nates depositoris illius incivilito vexabit, quantas vix prunae ipsse 


partibus iisdem admotae inussissent. . . . Excrementis hominis rc- 
centibus pruiias candeiites vel cineres culidos injectos inflammationem, 
teuesinmm, et pustulas excitare, non Anglis et Gallis tantiim sed et 
Germanis atque ex his nostratibus etiam est notissimuni," etc. The 
names of the authorities cited by Schurig are not repeated. — (" Chy- 
lologia," pp. 790, 791.) 

" The Australians believe that their magicians ' possess the power ' 
to create disease and death by burning what is called 'nahak.' 
Niihak means rubbish, but principally, refuse of food. Everj'thing of 
the kind they bury or throw into the sea, lest the disease-makers 
should get hold of it." ("Native Tribes of South Australia," 
Adelaide, 1879, p. 23.) Reference to "Nahak" is to be found iu 
" Samoa," Turner, p. 320. 

The old home of the Cheyennes of Dakota was in the Black Hills ; 
and there the Sioux believed that the Cheyennes were invincible, 
because their medicine-men could make everything out of buffalo 
manure. — (Personal Notes of Captain Bourke.) 

Although Livingston's " Zambesi " is filled with allusions to witch- 
craft, there is no instance given of the employment of any of the 
remedies herein described. 

*' The belief in witchcraft, and in the efficacy of charms and incan- 
tations, was strong among the middle and lower classes of Germany 
about forty years ago. ... In the winter of 1845-46, I attended a 
night-school in my native town, Schomdorf, in the little kingdom of 
Wurtemburg. There was a blacksmith-shop in the near neighborhood 
of the school, where work was kept up until a late hour of the night. 
The miniature fireworks created by the sparks flying from the blows of 
the immense hammers wielded by the dusky and weird-like forms of the 
sous of Vulcan, were one of the principal amusements of the schoolboys, 
and we used to stand at a distance in the dark, before school opened, 
gazing with awe and wonderment at the brilliant and noisy scene before 
us. The master blacksmith, on account of his irascible disposition, was 
not much in favor with us, and it was agreed upon to play him a trick. 
So one evening while the smiths were at their supper and the smithy 
imattended, two of the boys smeared the hammer-handles with excre- 
ment. The indignation of the smiths was of course great, and with 
curses and imprecations on the guilty parties they commenced to clean 
their implements, when suddenly stopped by the master, who, with a 
fiendish smile on his face, declared that he had concluded to make an 
example of the offenders. He bade the apprentice to work at the 


bellows, and then, one after the other, he held the smeared hammer- 
handles over the forge fire, turning and twisting them the while, and 
uttering some unintelligible incantations in a low and solemn voice, 
the workmen standing round him with awe and terror on their sooty 
countenances. When the ceremony was over, the master declared that 
it was rather hard on the culprits, whose rectums must be in a fright- 
ful condition, but that, unless an example were made, such dirty tricks 
might be repeated, and this would serve as a warning to the boys in 
general. We boys had been tremblingly watching the whole pro- 
ceedings, expecting that some fearful catastrophe would befall us, and 
I need not state that we were somewhat disappointed when we found 
ourselves unscathed, although it upset our belief in humbugs of this 
kind." — (Personal letter from Mr. Charles Smith, Washington, 
D. C.) 

** Amongst some of the Brazilian Indians, when a girl attains pu- 
berty, ... if she have a call of nature, a female relative takes the 
girl on her back and carries her out, taking with her a live coal, to 
prevent evil influences from entering the girl's body." — (" The Golden 
Bough," Frazer, vol. ii. p. 231.) 

"To unbewitch the bewitched, yon must spit into the pisse-pot 
where you have made water." — (Reg. Scot, " Disc, of Witchcraft," 
p. 62.) 

"The Shamans of the Thlinkeets of Alaska keep their iirine until 
its smell is so strong that the spirits cannot endure it." — (Franz 
Boas, in "Journal of American Folk-Lore," vol. i. p. 218.) 

In the third volume of the " History of the Inquisition," by Henry 
C. Lea, New York, 1888, there is a chapter on "Sorcery and Occult 
Arts," but there is no allusion to the use of excrement in any form. 
Neither is there anything to be found in Dalyell's " Superstitions of 
Scotland," Edinburgh, 1834. 

The sacred drink, "hum," of the Parsis, has "the urine of a young, 
pure cow " as one of the ingredients. (See Max Miillcr's " Biographies 
of Words," London, 1888, p. 237.) This sacred drink is also used "as 
an offering during incantations." — (Idem.) 

Schurig (" Chylologia," p. 815) states that horse-dung was sometimes 
used in "sympathetic magic:" " Interdum etiam ad Sympathiam 
magicam adhibetur ; " and he recites an instance wherein a certain 
farmer, whose meadows were overrun by the horses of his neighbors, 
was enabled by taking a portion of the dung they had dropped and 
hanging it up in his chimney, to drive them all into a consumption. 


The following seems to have been in the nature of an incantation 
closely allied to the above. Two Yakut chiefs contended for suprem- 
acy ; one, named Onagai, defeated and banished his rival, who escaped 
with only his wife and two mares. This second chief, Aley, collected 
carefully the dung of his mares, and when the wind blew towards Ona- 
gai's dwelling, made fires of the dung, the smell of which allured the 
strayed cattle to his dwelling." — (Saner, " Exped. to the N. parts of 
liussia," Loudon, 1802, p. 133. This "Aley," according to Tartar 
tradition, was skilled in magic art. See idem, p. 135.) 

" He who wishes to revenge himself by witchcraft endeavors t-o 
procure either the saliva, urine, or excrements of his enemy, and after 
mixing them with a powder, and putting them into a bag woven in a 
particular form, he buries them." — (Krusenstern's " Voy. round the 
World," Eug. trans., London, 1813, vol. i. p. 174, speaking of the island 
of Nukahiva.) 

LangsdorfF says that in the Washington islands, when a man desires 
to bewitch an enemy, he endeavors to procure "some of his hair, the 
remains of something he has been eating, and some earth on which he 
has spit or made water." — ("Voyages," London, 1813, p. 156.) 

The liev. W. Ellis, speaking of the Tahitians, says : " The parings 
of nails, a lock of the hair, the saliva from the mouth, or other secre- 
tions from the body, or else a portion of the food which the person was 
to eat, this was considered as the vehicle by which the demon en- 
tered the person who afterwards became possessed. . . . The sorcerer 
took the hair, saliva, or other substance, which had belonged to his 
victim, to his house, or marae, performed his incantations over it, and 
offered his prayers ; the demon was then supposed to enter the sub- 
stance (called tubu), and through it to the individual who had suffered 
from the enchantment." — (" Polynesian Researches," vol. ii. p. 228, 
quoted in " The Nat. Trib. of S. Australia," p. 25.) 

" If the death of any obnoxious person is desired to be procured by 
sorcery, the malevolent native secures a portion of his enemy's hair, 
refuse of food, or excrement ; these substances are carried in a bag 
specially reserved for the artillery of witchcraft, a little wallet which 
is slung over the shoulders. The refuse of food is subjected to special 
treatment, part of which is scorching and melting before a fire ; but, 
in the case of excrement, my information is to the effect that it is just 
allowed to moulder away, and as it decays the health and strength of 
the enemy is supposed to decline contemporaneously. Excrement is 
thus employed in the south of Queensland." — (Personal letter from 


John Matthew, Esq., M. A., dated " The Manse," Coburg, Victoria, 
Nov. 29, 1889. This correspondent has had a great deal of experience 
with the savages of Australia.) 

The Patagouians have the belief that their witches can do harm to 
those from whom they obtain any exuvise or excrement, — " if they can 
possess themselves of some part of their intended victim's body, or 
that which has proceeded from it, such as hair, pieces of nails, etc. ; 
and this superstition is the more curious from its exact accordance 
with that so prevalent in Polynesia." — ('* Voyage of the Adventure 
and Beagle," quoting the Jesuit Falkner, vol. ii. p. 163.) 

There was some ill-defined relation between the power of urination 
and virginity. Burton speaks of "such strange, absurd trials in Al- 
bertus Magnus. ... by stones, perfumes, to make them piss and 
confess I know not what in their sleep." — (" Anat. of Melancholy," 
vol. ii. p. 451.) 

Speaking of the Australians, Smith says : " The only remarkable 
custom (diifering from other savages) in their fighting expeditions, is 
the adoption of the custom commanded to the Israelites on going out 
to war. (Deut. c. 23, ver. 12-14, — about hiding excrement.) The 
natives believe that if the enemy discovered it, they would burn it in 
the fire, and thus ensure their collective destruction, or that, individ- 
ually, they would pine away and die." — (" Aborigines of Victoria," 
vol. i. p. 165.) 

" In the middle of the hall . . . was a vase, of which the contents 
were at least as varied as those of the caldron of Macbeth ; a mixture, 
in part, composed of nameless ingredients." — (" Dictionnaire Univer- 
sel du XlXrae Siecle," by P. Larousse, quoted in " Reports of Voudoo 
Worship in Hayti and Louisiana," by W. W. Xewell, in "Jour, of 
Amer. Folk-Lore," Jan.-March, 1889, p. 43.) 

There is on record the confession of a young French witch, Jeanne 
Bosdean, at Bordeaux, 1594, wherein is described a witches' mass, at 
which the devil appeared in the disguise of a black buck, with a can- 
dle between his horns. When holy water was needed, the buck uri- 
nated in a hole in the ground and the ofiiciatiug witch aspersed it upon 
the congregation with a black sprinkler. Jeanne Bosdean adhered to 
her story even when in the flames.^ 

One of the ceremonies of the initiation of the neophytes into witch- 

1 Pour faire de I'eau fenite le Bouc pissoit dans un trou k terre et celai qui faisoit 
I'office en arrosoit les assistants avec un asperge noir. — (Thiers, Superstitions, etc., 
voL ii. book 4, cap. 1, p. 367. See the same story in Picart, voL viiL p 69.) 


craft was "kissing the devil's bare buttocks." (Reg. Scot. "Discov- 
erie," pp. 3G, 37.) Pope Gregory IX., in a letter addressed to several 
German bishops iu 1234, describes the initiation of sorcerers as follows : 
The novices, on being introduced into the assembly, " see a toad of 
enormous size. . . . Some kiss its mouth, others its rear." Next, 
" a black cat is presented . . . The novice kisses the rear anatomy of 
the cat, after which he salutes in a similar manner those who preside 
at the feast, and others worthy of the honor." (" Med. in Middle 
Ages," Minor, p. 41.) Again, "At witches' reunions, the possessed 
kissed the devil's rear, kissing it goat fashion, in a butting attitude." 
(Idem, p. 50.) " Le baiser d'hommage est doune au derriere du 
Diable parce qu'il n'a ete permis k Moise, selon I'Exode, de voir que la 
derriere de Dieu." — (Melusine, Paris, July-August, 1890, p. 90, art. 
"La Fascination," by J. Tuchmann.) 

The devil hates nothing more than human ordure. (On this point, 
see Luther's Table Talk.) The devil cannot be more completely frus- 
trated than by placing upon some of his works human ordure, or hang- 
ing it in the smoke of the chimney. The Laplanders were reputed to 
be able to detain a ship in full sail ; yet when such a vessel had been 
besmeared along its seams in the interior with the ordure of virgins, 
then the efforts of the witches were of no avail. (Paullini, p. 260.) 
" A certain man bewitched a boy, nine years old, by placing the boy's 
ordure in a hog's bladder and hanging the ' sausage ' in the chimney. 
(Idem, p. 261.) But some believed that by this smoking of ordure 
the evil often became worse ; that the diseased person gradually dried 
\ip \mtil at last he died, as he experienced in the case of his own 
father-in-law. . . . Farmers' wives, to make the butter come in spite 
of the witches, poured fresh cow's milk upon human ordure, or down 
into the privy, and the witches were thereupon rendered powerless." — 
(Idem, p. 263. See also citation from Schurig, " Chylologia.") 

The Magi also taught to drink the ashes of a pig's pizzle in sweet 
wine, and so to make water into a dog's kennel, adding the words, 
" Lest he, like a hound, should make urine in his own bed," If a man, 
in the morning, made water a little on his own foot, it would be a pre- 
servative against mala medicamenta, doses meant to do him harm." — 
("Saxon Lcechdoms," lib. i. p. 12, quoting Pliny. See citations al- 
ready made from that author.) 

Beckherius "(Med. Microcosmus, p. 114) tells the story of the Lap- 
land witches being able to hold a ship in its course, except when the 


inner seams of tho vessel had been calked with the ordure of a virgin ; 
see extract already entered. 

Again, Beckherius quotes Josephus as narrating that a certain lake, 
near Jericho, ejected asphalt which adhered so tenaciously to a ship 
that it was in danger of wreck, had not the asphalt been loosened by 
an application of menstrual blood and human urine. — (Idum, p. io, 
quoting Josephus, " De Bello Judaico," lib. iv. c. 47.) 

Beckherius, " Med. Microcosmus," p. 43, cites Josephus in regard to 
a certain plant to which magical properties were ascribed, but only to 
be brought out by watering it with menstrual blood and the urine of a 
woman. — (Josephus, "De Bell. Jud." lib. vii. c. 23, p. 14G.) 

Dittmar Bleekens, speaking of the " Islanders " (Icelanders), says : 
" And truly, it is a wonder that Satan so sporteth witli them, for hee 
hath shewed thera a remedie in staying of their ships, to wit, the ex- 
crements of a maide being a Virgin ; if they anoynt the Prow and cer- 
taine plancks of the ship hee hath taught them that the spirit is put 
to flight and driven away with this stinke." — (In Purchas, vol. i. p. 

Josephus says (his remarks have already been given in quotation, 
but are repeated to show exactly what he did say) : The bitumen of 
Lake Asphaltites "is so tenacious as to make the ship hang upon the 
clods till they set it loose with blood and with urine, to which alone it 
yields." — (" Wars of the Jews," Eng. trans., New York, 1821, book 4, 
c. 7.) 

The people of the Island of Mota, or Banks Island, "have a kind of 
individual totem, called tamaniu. It is some object, generally an 
animal, as a lizard or snake, but sometimes a stone, with which the 
person imagines that his life is bound up ; if it dies or is broken or 
lost, he will die. Fancy dictates the choice of a tamaniu ; or it may 
be found by drinking an infusion of " certain kinds of herbs and heap- 
ing together the dregs. "Whatever living thing is first seen in or upon 
the heap is the tamaniu. It is watched, but not fed or worshipped." 
— (Frazer, "Totemism," Edinburgh, 1887, p. 56.) 

Compare the preceding paragraph with the practice, elsewhere noted, 
of determining whether or not a woman is pregnant by pouring some 
of her urine upon bran and allowing it to ferment and tlien watching 
the appearance of animal life. Also, the method of determining whether 
or not a man was stricken with leprosy. 

To determine whether a woman be pregnant of a boy or a girl, 
make two small holes in the ground ; in one, put wheat ; in the other, 



barley ; let her urinate on both ; if tlie wheat sprout first, she will 
have a boy ; if the barley, a girL To determine whether a man had 
been attacked by leprosy (elephantiasis), the ashes of burnt lead 
(plumbi usti ciueres) were thrown into his urine ; if they fell to the 
bottom, he was well ; if they floated on top, he was iu dan<i-er. 

To tell whetlier a man had been bewitched, " Coque in olla nova, ad 
ignem, urinam hominis quae si ebullierit, liber erit a veueficio." — (Beck- 
herius, "Med. Microcosmus," pp. 61, 62.) 

To determine whether a sick man was to die during the current 
mouth, some of his urine was shaken ui) in a glass vessel until it 
foamed ; then the observer took some of his own earwax (cerumen) 
and placed it in this foam ; if it separated, the man was to recover j if 
not, not. — (Idem, p. 62.) 

*' It is said that King Louis Philippe before mounting on horseback 
never failed to urinate against the left hind leg of his horse, according 
to an old tradition in cavalry that such a proceeding had the effect of 
strengthening the leg of the beast and rendering the animal more apt 
to sustain the effort made by the rider when jumping upon the 
saddle. I tell you the fact as I heard it reported by one of the king's 
sons, Prince of Joinville, forty-five years ago when I was sailing in a 
frigate — * La Belle Poule ' — under his command." — (Personal letter 
from Captain Henri Jouan, French Navy.) 

The people of Lake Ubidjwi, near Lake Tanganyika, are thus de- 
scribed : " Both sexes of all classes carry little carved images round 
their necks or tied to the upper part of their arms as a charm against 
evil spirits. They are usually hollow, and filled with filth by the 
medicine-men." — ("Across Africa," Cameron, London, 1877, vol. i. 
p. 336.) 

In the incantations made by the medicine-men to avert disaster from 
fire and preserve his expedition, Cameron notes, among other features, 
"a ball made of shreds of bark, mud, and filth." (Idem, vol. ii. 
p. 118.) The term "filth," as here employed, can have but one 

" Poor Eobin, in his Almanac for 1695 . . . ridicules the following 
indelicate fooleries tlien in use, which must surely have been either of 
Dutch or Flemish extraction. They who when they make water go 
streaking the walls with their urine, as if they were planning some 
antic figures or making some curious delineations, or shall piss in the 
dust, making I know not what scattering angles and circles, or some 
chink in a wall, or a little hole in the ground, to be brought in, after 


two or three admonitions, as incurable fools." (Brand, "Popular 
Antiquities," vol. iii. p. 175, article "Nose and Mouth Omens.") This 
was possibly a survival from some old method of divining. 

Cameron, describing the dance of a medicine-man in the village of 
Kwinhata, near the head of the Congo, and the humble deference 
shown to these Mganga by the women, says of one of the women : 
" She soon went away quite happy, the chief Mganga having honored her 
by spitting in her face and giving her a ball of beastliness as a charm. 
This she hastened to place in safety in her hut." — (" Across Africa," 
vol. ii. p. 82.) 

An article in " Table Talk," copied in the " Evening Star," Wash- 
ington, D. C, of Dec. 17, 1888, entitled "Christmas under the Polar 
Star/' says that " in Southern Lapland, should the householder neglect 
to provide an ample store of fuel for the season's needs, in popular be- 
lief, the disgusted Yule-swains or Christmas goblins would so befoul 
the wood-pile that there would be no getting at its contents." 

Frommann devotes a long article to a refutation of the popular idea 
of his day that from the urine or seed of a man innocently hanged for 
theft, could be generated " homunculi." " Anile istud placitum, ex 
urina vel semine hominis innocenter ad suspendiura furti crimine 
damnati homunculum generari." — (" Tract, de Fascinat.," p. 672.) 

"Butler's description in his ' Hudibras' of 'a cunning man or for- 
tune-teller,' is fraught with a great deal of his usual pleasantry, — 

" ' To him, with questions and with urine, 
They for discovery flock, or curing.' " 

— (Brand, " Popular Antiquities," vol. iii. p. 62, article '* Sorcerer.") 

" There were Etruscan wizards who made rain or discovered springs 
of water, it is not certain which. They were thought to bring the 
rain or water out of their bellies." — ("The Golden Bough," Frazer, 
vol. i. p. 22.) 

The bed-chamber of Munza, King of the Mombottoes, was " painted 
with many geometrical designs . . . the white from dog's dung (album 
Grsecum)." — (" Heart of Africa," Schweinfurth, London, 1878, vol. ii. 
p. 36.) 

It is quite safe to assert that these "geometrical designs" were 
"magical. " 

" Witches are supposed to acquire influence over any one by be- 
coming possessed of anything belonging to the intended victim, — 
such as a hair, a piece of wearing apparel, or a pin. The influence 


acquired hj the witch is greater if such an article be voluntarily or 
unconsciously handed to her by the person asked for it. ... A 
witch can be disabled by securing a hair of her head, wrapping it in a 
piece of paper, and placing it against a tree as a target into which a 
silver bullet is to be fired from a gun. . . . When the patient reaches 
the age of adolescence, the alleged relief (from incontinence of urine) 
is obtained by urinating into a newly-made grave ; the corpse must be 
of the opposite sex to that of the experimenter." — (" Folk-Lore of the 
Pennsylvania Germans," Hoffman, in "Journal of American Folk- 
Lore," January-March, 1889, pp. 28-32.) 

Black alludes to the same ideas. See his " Folk-Medicine," p. 16. 

To frustrate the effects of witchcraft. Dr. Eosinus Lentilius recom- 
mended that the patient take a quantity of his own ordure, the size 
of a filbert, and drink it in oil. (See "Ephem. Medic," Leipsig, 1G94, 
p. 170.) According to Paullini, the antidotes were to take human 
ordure both internally and externally, and human urine externally. 
Schurig, for the same purpose, recommended the human urine and 
ordure, but both to be taken internally, mixed with hyoscyamus. 
— (" Chylologia," pp. 765, 766.) 

In Fi'ance witches were transformed into animals, and vice versa, 
"by washing their hands in a certain water which they kept in a pot." 
Eeference is also made to " a basin of anything but holy water with 
which the initiated were sprinkled." — (•' Sorcery and Magic," Thomas 
Wright, London, 1851, vol. i. pp. 310, 311, 328, 329.) 

Eeginald Scot tells the story of " a mass-priest " who was tormented 
by an incubus ; after all other remedies had foiled, he was advised by 
" a cunning witch . . . that the next morning, about the dawning of 
the day, I should pisse, and immediately should cover the pisse-pot, or 
stop it with my right nether-stock." — (" Discoverie," p. 65.) 

The Thlinkeet of the northwest coast of America believe that a 
drowned man can be restored to life by cutting his skin and apphing 
a medicine made of certain roots infused in the urine of a child, 
which has been kept for three moons. Drowned men, according to 
their medicine-men, are turned into otters. — (See Franz Boas, in 
"Journal of American Folk-Lore," vol. i. p. 218.) 

" It was a supposed remedy against witchcraft to put some of the 
bewitched person's water, with a quantity of pins, needles, and nails, 
into a bottle, cork them up, and set them before the fire, in order tb 
confine the spirit ; but this sometimes did not prove sufficient, as it 
would often force the cork out with a loud noise, like that of a pistol, 


and cast the contents to a considerable height." — (Brand, " Popular 
Antiquities," vol. iii. p. 13, article "Sorcerers.") 

Where the limbs of a man had been bewitched, he should bathe 
them with his own urine ; somerecommended an addition of garlic or 
assafoetida. — (Frommann, "Tract, de Fascinat.," pp. 961, 962.) 

" Jordeu, in his curious treatise, * Of the Suffocation of the Mother,' 
1603, p. 24, says: 'Another policie Marcellus Donatus tells us of, 
which a physitian used toward the Countesse of Mantua, who, being in 
that disease which we call melancholia hypochondriaca, did verily be- 
lieve that she was bewitched, and was cured by conveying of nayles, 
needles, feathers, and such like things, into her close-stool when she took 
physicke, making her believe that they came out of her bodie,' " — 
(Brand, "Popular Antiquities," vol. iii. p. 13, article "Sorcerers.") 

Schurig prescribed hen and dove dung for the cure of the bewitched. 
— (" Chylologia," p. 817.) 

Beckherius highly extolled human ordure for the same purpose. — 
("Med. Microcosmus," p. 113.") 

" The catamenial blood of women was looked upon as efficacious in 
chasing away demons." — (Black, "Folk-Medicine," p. 154, quoting 

In Scotland, " they put a small quantity of salt into tlie first milk 
of a cow, after calving, that is given to any person to drink. This is 
done with a view to px-event skaith (harm), if it should happen that 
the person is not canny." — (Brand, "Pop. Ant.," vol. iii. p. 165, art. 
" Salt-Falling." Compare the foregoing with what Sir Samuel Baker 
tells us about African superstitions on the same subject.) 

"On line 160, Eeinerstein's and Retz's edition of Lucian's * Dea 
Sj'ra,* 4vo, vol. iii. p. 654, you will find human dung mentioned as 
a medicine or charm, and urine some lines lower." — (Personal letter 
from, Prof. W. Robertson Smith, dated Christ College, Cambridge, 
England, August 11, 1888.) 

One of the most curious features about Grimm's " Teutonic Mythol- 
ogy" (Stallybrass' translation, London, 1882), is the absence of any 
mention of the use of human or animal ordure or urine in any man- 
ner, either medicinally or religiously, or to baffle witchcraft. He may 
have issued a supplement, in which all this may have been corrected ; 
but if he did not, then his work is most singularly defective. 
♦ Mr. Sylvester Baxter states that in a recent conversation with Mr. 
Frank H. Cushing, near Tempe, Arizona, he learned that in Mr. 
Cushing's youth, people in Central and Western New York were still 


using charms against witchcraft, and that Mr. Gushing was personally 
acquainted with a family which had prepared a decoction, one of 
whose ingredients was human urine ; this as a preventive of witchcraft. 
The locality referred to was about eighteen miles from Rochester, N. Y. 

"Spitting into recently voided urine prevents one from getting 
* warrle ' ou his eyes." (Mrs. Fanny D. Bergen, Cambridge, Alass.) 
This remedy goes back to Pliny. 

"To unbewitch the bewitched, you must spit in the pot where you 
have made water." — (Brand, "Pop. Ant.," vol. iii. p. 263, art. 
"Saliva," quoting from Pieginald Scot's "Discoverie.") 

" Several fetid and stinking matters, such as old urine, are excellent 
means for keeping away all kinds of evil-intentioned spirits and 
ghosts." — (Rink, "Tales and Traditions of the Eskimo," Edinburgh, 
1875, pp. 50, 452.) 

" The Manxmen still place a vessel full of water outside their doors 
at night, to enable the fairies (who, they say, were the first inhab- 
itants of their island,) to wash themselves, and prevent them from 
doing harm." — (Brand, " Pop. Ant." vol. ii. p. 494, art. " Fairy 

It is certainly singular to find here a trace of the custom noted as 
existing among the Laplanders and the people of Siberia, who placed 
tubs of urine for the same purpose, urine being used in ordinary 

In England, there was a superstition that the woman who made 
■water upon uettles would be " peevish for a whole day." — (Brand, 
"Pop. Ant.," vol. iii. p. 351), art. " Divination by Flowers.") 

Fosbroke (" Encyclopaedia of Antiquities," vol. ii.) says that this 
proverb is ancient. " Nettles were in ancient times regarded as an 

Schurig (" Chylologia," p. 795) repeats the story to the effect that 
the Laplanders calked the inner seams of their ships with the ordure 
of virgins to increase their speed. Tlie Laplanders, when any of their 
reindeer die of disease, abandon their camp, being careful "to burn 
all the excrement of the animal before they depart." — (Leem's 
" Account of Danish Lapland," in Pinkertou, vol. i. p. 484. See pre- 
vious citations from Sauer m regard to the Yakuts of Siberia.) 

The story was current m California, about twenty years since, that 
the immigrants to that state from Missouri and Arkansas, in the gold- 
mining days, had the custom of depositing their evacuations, before 
starting on the march of the day, in the camp-fires of the preceding 


night. Nothing was learned of the meaning, if any, of the custom. 
Nursing women sprinkled a few drops of their milk on the burning 
coals in the fireplace, to ensure an abundant flow. — (EtmuUer, 
vol. i. p. 68.) 

The author has been fortunate in obtaining a copy of the address of 
Mr. James Moouey, of the Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, D. C, 
upon the "Medical Mythology of Ireland." 

This interesting and extremely valuable contribution, which can be 
found in the " Transactions of the American Philosophical Society for 
1887," leaves no uncertainty in regard to the mystic powers ascribed 
by the Celtic peasantry to both urine and ordure. Urine and chicken- 
dung are shown to be potent in frustrating the mischief of fairies ; 
" fire, iron, and dung " are spoken of as the " three great safeguards 
against the influence of fairies and the infernal spirits." Dung is 
caiTied about the person, as part of the contents of amulets ; and chil- 
dren suffering from convulsions are, as a last resort, bathed from head 
to foot in urine, to rescue them from the clutches of their fairy 
persecutors. See also p. 377, in regard to the " dwarves," who, in 
England, seem to be the same as fairies. 

Du Chaillu, in his " Land of the Midnight Sun," makes no reference 
to the use, in any manner, by the inhabitants of that region, of excre- 
raentitious matorials for any purposes. His stay was of such an ex- 
tremely short duration, that his observations cannot be compared with 
those made by Leems and others, from whom information has already 
been extracted. 

A curious survival, in France, of the Parsi custom of the " Nirang " 
is demonstrated in the May number of "Melusine," Paris, 1888, 
entitled " Le Nirang des Parsis, en Basse Bretagne." 

"J'ai passe mon enfance, jusqu'a I'age de quatorze ans, dans un 
vieux manoir breton, du nom de Keramborgne, dans la commune de 
Plouarte, arrondissement de Lannion. Le manoir paternel etait bien 
connu des malheureux et des mendiants errants . . . qui venaient 
demander le vivre et le convert pour la nuit . . . Parrai les pauvres 
eiTants qui etaient les botes les plus assidus de Keramborgne . . . 
se trouvait une vieille femme nommee Gillette Kerlohiou, qui con- 
naissait toutes les nouvelles du pays . . . et, de plus, avait la reputa- 
tion d'etre quelque peu sorciere, et de guerir certaines maladies par 
des oraisons et des herbes dont elle seule avait le secret. . . . Un 
matin que Gillette avait passe la nuit a I'etable . . . elle marmottait 
des prieres. . . . Une vache s'etant mise a uriner, la vieille mendiante 


se precipita vers elle, recut de I'urine dans le creux de sa main et s'en 
frotta la figure a plusieiirs reprises. . . . Ce que voyaut le vacher, il la 
traita de salope et de vieille folic. Mais Gillette lui dit, sans s'emou- 
voir : * Rien n'est meilleur, mon fils, que de se laver la figure, le matin, 
en se levant, avec de I'urine de la vache, et meme avec sa propre urine 
si Ton ne pent se procurer de celle de vache. Quand vous avez fait 
cette ablution, le matin, vous etes, pour toute la journee, a I'abri des 
embuches et des mechancetes du diable, car vous deveuez invisible 
pour lui.' " 

The writer of the above, M. F.-M. Luzel, learned from the other 
peasants and beggars standing about that the belief expressed by the 
old woman was fully concurred in by her comrades. 

*' Nos paysannes de France se lavaient les mains dans leur urine ou 
dans celle de leurs maris, ou de leurs enfants, pour detourner les male- 
fices ou en empecher TefFet." — (Rechis, "Les Primitifs," p. 98.) 

Father Le Jeune must have been on the track of something corre- 
sponding to an nr-orgy among the Hurons when he learned that the 
devil imposed upon the sick, in dreams, the duty of wallowing in or- 
dure if they hoped for restoration to health.^ 

This penitential wallowing was retained by nations of a high order 
of advancement, the ordure of primitive times being generally super- 
seded by clay and other less filthy matter. 

" Let it suffice to display the points where Greek found itself in har- 
mony with Australian and American and African practice. ... 3. The 
habit of daubing persons about to be initiated with clay, ... or any- 
thing else that is sordid, and of washing this off, apparently by way of 
showing that old guilt is removed, and a new life entered upon." — 
("Myth, Ritual, and Religion," Andrew Lang, London, 1887, vol. ii. 
p. 282.) 

" Plutarch, in his essay on superstition, represents the guilty man 
who would be purified actually rolling in clay." — (Idem, p. 28G.) 

The following is described as the Abyssinian method of exorcising a 
woman : The exorcist " lays an amulet on the patient's heaving bosom, 
makes her smell of some vile compound, and the moment her madness 
is somewhat abated begins a dialogue with the Bouda (demon), who 
answers in a woman's voice. The devil is invited to come out in the 
name of all the saints ; but a threat to treat him with some red-hot 

^ Leur faisant voir en songe, qii lis ne s^auroient guerir qu'en se veautant dans 
toutes sortes dordures. — (P^re Le Jeune, "Jesuit Relations,' 1636, published by 
Canadian Government, Quebec, 1858.) 


coals is usually more potent, and after he has promised to obey, he 
seeks to delay his exit by asking for something to eat. Filth and dirt 
are mixed and hidden under a bush, when the woman crawls to the 
sickening repast and gulps it down with avidity." — (From an article 
entitled " Abyssinian Women," in the " Evening Star," Washington, 
D. C, October 17, 1885.) 

" A Pretty Charme or Conclusion for one Possessed. . . . The pos- 
sessed body must go upon his or her knees to church, . . . and so 
must creep without going out of the way, being the common highway, 
in that sort how foul and dirty soever the same may be, or whatsoever 
lie in the way, not shunning anything whatsoever, untill he come to 
the church, where he must heare masse devoutly." — (Scot, " Dis- 
coverie," p. 178.) 

By the Irish peasantry urine was sprinkled upon sick children.^ 

American boys urinate upon their legs to prevent cramp while 

In Stirling, Scotland, " a certain quantity of cow-dung is forced into 
the mouth of a calf immediately after it is calved, or at least before it 
has received any meat ; owing to this, the vulgar believe that witches 
and fairies can have no power ever after to injure the calf." — (Brand, 
" Popular Antiquities," vol. iii. p. 257, article " Rural Charms.") 

Fromraanu gives a preparation of twenty-five ingredients for freeing 
infants from witchcraft (fascinatio) ; but neither human nor animal 
egestse are mentioned. — (" Tract, de Fascinat.," p. 449, 450.) 

Cox, in his history of Ireland, gives a description of the trial of 
Lady Alice Kettle, of Ossory, charged with being a witch, and with 
sacrificing to a familiar spirit at night, at cross-roads, nine red cocks 
and nine peacock's eyes, and with ssveeping the streets of Kilkenny, 
"raking all the filth towards the doors of her son, William Outlaw, 
murmuring and muttering secretly with herself these words : — 

" 'To the House of William, my son, 

Hie all the Wealth of Kilkenny town.' " 

— (" History of Ireland," London, 1639, vol. i. p. 102. The date of 
the above was about 1325.) 

This story is quoted by Vallencey, " Collect, de Rebus Hibernicis," 

1 Brand quotes Camden as relating of the Irish that, " if a child is at any time 
out of order, they sprinkle it with the stalest urine they can get." — (Brand, 
" Popular Antiquities," article "Christening Customs,' London, 1849, vol. ii. 
p. 86.) 


Dublin, 1774, vol. ii. p. 369, and by Henry C. Lea, "History of the 
Inquisition," New York, 1888, vol. iii. p. 457; it is originally to be 
found in Camden. 

In the Island of Guernsey, within the present generation, "John 
Lane, of Anneville, Lane Parish," has been tried on the cliarge of 
" having practised necromancy," and " induced many persons in the 
country parishes to believe that they were bewitched," and that he 
could drive away the devil and other bad spirits " by boiling herbs to 
produce a certain perfume not at all grateful to the olfactory nerves of 
demons, . . . and the sprinkling of celestial water." — (Brand, " Popu- 
lar Antiquities," vol. iii. p. 66, article " Sorcerers.") 

In the valuable compilation of superstitious practices interdicted by 
Roman Catholic councils Thiers includes the persons who bathe their 
hands with urine in the morning to avert witchcraft or nullify its 
effect. He says, too, that Saint Lucy was reputed to be a witch, for 
which reason the Roman Judge, Paschasius, at her trial sprinkled her 
with urine.^ 

See the extract just quoted from " Melusine." 

The Romans had a feast to the mother of all the gods, Bereciuthia, 
in which the matrons took their idol and sprinkled it with their urine. '^ 

Berecinthia was one of the names under which Cybele or Rhea, the 
primal earth goddess, was worshipped by the Romans and by many 
nations in the East. Her priests, the Galli, emasculated themselves 
in orgies whose frenzy was of the same general type as the Omophagi 
of the Greeks, previously described. 

The emasculation of the priests of Cybele was performed with a 
piece of Samian pottery. — (See footnote to Rev. Lewis Evans' transla- 
tion of the Satires of Lucilius, lib. vii., edition of New York, 1860.) 

The priests of Cybele wei-e by some supposed to have received the 
name of Galli from the River Gallus, " near which these priests in- 
flicted upon themselves the punishment we are speaking of . . . The 

^ Ceux qui lavent leurs mains le matin avec de I'urine pour detourner les male- 
fices ou pour en empecher I'effet. Cest pour cela que le juge Pascliase fit arroser 
(I'urine Sainte Luce, parce qu'il s'imaginoit qu'elle etoit sorciere. — (Thiers, 
"Traite dcs Superstitions," Paris, 1741, vol. i. cap. 5, p. 471.) 

This statement is repeated verbatim by Picart (" Coutumes et Cerumonies," etc., 
Amsterdam, 1729, p. 35), and he adds that the judge believed that he would hj' this 
jirecaution disable her from evading the torments in store for her. John of Sauls- 
bury, bishop of Cliartres, with good reason cast ridicule upon this charm. 

2 La rociaba con sus orinas. — (Torqueraada, "Monarchia Indiana," lib. x. 
cap. 23.) 



effect of the water of that river was to throw them into fits of enthusi- 
asm, — ' qui bibit, inde furit,' as Ovid has it." — (Abbe Banier, " My- 
thology," English translation, London, 1740, vol. ii. p. 563.) 

"Here they set down their litters at night and bedew the very 
image of the goddess with copious irrigations, while the chaste moon 
witnesses their abominations." — (Juvenal, Sixth Satire, describing the 
rites of Bona Dea, translated by Rev. Lewis Evans, M.A., Wadhams 
College, Oxford, New York, 18G0.) 

Father Baudin speaks of the secret society called the " Ogbuni : " 
" From what I have been able to learn, this society is simply an insti- 
tution similar to the secret societies of the pagan people of ancient 
times, where the members were initiated into the infamous mysteries 
of the great goddess." (Negroes of Guinea.) — ("Fetichism and 
Fetich-worshippers," Baudin, New York, 1885, p. 64.) 

The Eskimo living near Point Ban-ow have a yearly ceremony for 
driving out an evil spirit which they call Tuna. Among the cei'e- 
monies incident to the occasion is this : One of the performers 
" brought a vessel of urine and flung it on the fire." — (" The Golden 
Bough," Frazer, vol. ii. p. 164, quoting "Report of the International 
Polar Expedition to Point BaiTow," Washington, 1885, p. 42.) 

It is strange to encounter in races so diverse apparently as the 
Greeks and the Hottentots the same rites of emasculation and urine 

The sect of the " Skoptsi " or the " Eunuchs," in Russia, " base their 
peculiar tenets on Christ's saying, * There are some eunuchs which 
were born so from their mother's womb, and there are some eunuchs 
which were made eunuchs of men, and there be eunuchs which have 
made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that 
is able to receive it let him receive it' (Matt. xix. 12)." — (Heard, 
" Russian Creed and Russian Dissent," p. 265.) 

" This heresy, which is the most modern of all, probably owes its 
origin to influences from the East slowly filtering through the lower 
ranks of the population." — (Idem, p. 267.) 

Reginald Scot tells the story of a quack who preyed upon the fears 
of patients suffering from tympanitis, telling them they had vipers in 
their bellies, which vipers he would try to smuggle into the patient's 
" ordure or excrement, after his purgations." — (" Discoverie," 
p. 198.) 

Schurig relates that the countrywomen in Germany, if after milking 
their cows for a long time they wei-e unable to bring the proper quantity 


of butter, suspected that they were under the spell of a witch ; to un- 
do this spell it was only necessary to mix some fi'esh milk with human 
ordure and throw the mixture down the privy ; or human ordure was 
applied to the teats of the cows, much as Sir Samuel Baker has shown 
the Africans will do in our day. " Quippe quse, siquando in confi- 
ciendo butyro, per tempus frustra laborarunt, suspicioue veueficii 
cujusdam seductae lac vaccinum recens emulsum stercori humano 
commixtum cloacae simul infundunt, atque sic illico a Veneficio liberan- 
tur. ... Si ferrum ignitum una stercore humano lacte vaccino con- 
sperso inseras, veneficse pustulas inducet. . . . Contra magicam lactis 
vaccarum ablationem, ipsarum ubera stercore humano aliquamdiu 
inungi solcnt." And he ends his paragraph by quoting the dictum 
of Johannis Michaelis, "Sine omni fascinatione et superstitione proprio 
stercore efficere possit." — (Schurig, " Chylologia," pp. 788, 789, par. 

Compare with the information derived from Paullini. 

The above practice seems to have been transplanted to Pennsylvania, 
with its more objectionable features omitted. 

"The housewife sometimes finds difficulty in butter-making, the 
spell being believed to be the work of a witch. . . . The remedy was 
to plunge a red-hot poker into the contents of the churn, when the 
spell was broken, and the butter immediately began to form." — 
(" Folk- Lore of the Penn'a Germans." — (Hoffman, in " Jour, of Amer. 
Folk-Lore," 1889.) 

From all this it would appear plausible to assume that the " ripen- 
ing of cheese " in human urine was originally induced by a desire to 
avert the evils of witchcraft. Kefer also to the notes from Sir Samuel 

In " South Mountain Magic," Mrs. M. V. Dahlgren, Boston, Mass. 
1882, may be found references to the bewitching of milk and cream, 
and to the remedy employed of putting in hot stones or " a wedge of 
hot iron " (pp. 165-167). In this partial " survival," we see the disap- 
pearance of the more objectionable features of the practices of the old 
country. Mrs. Dahlgren's book treats of the superstitions of the 
Pennsylvania Germans living close to the Maryland border. 

"The urine casters, a set of quacks almost within our own recollec- 
tion, had a peculiar jargon, which it is not nccessaiy to attend to." — 
(" Medical Dictionary," Bartholomew Parr, M. D., Philadelphia, Penn'a, 
1819, art. "Urine.") 

When cattle had been killed by witchcraft, Reginald Scot gave a long 


formula for detecting the culprit ; among other things, the farmer was 
directed to " traile the bowels of the beast unto your house. . . . into 
the kitchen, and there make a fire, and set ouer the same a grediron, 
and thereupon lay the inwards or bowels, and as they wax hot, so shall 
the witches' entrails be molested with extreme heat and pain." — 
("Discoverie," p. 198. It should be observed that there are no direc- 
tions about " cleaning " the bowels of the animal.) 

Among the modes of detecting witches in England, were " by shav- 
ing off every hair of the witch's body. They were also detected by put- 
ting hair, parings of the nails, and urine of any person bewitched into 
a stone bottle, and hanging it up in the chimney." — (Cotta, in his 
" Short Discovery of the Unobserved Dangers," p. 54) speaks of " the 
burning of the dung or urine of such as are bewitched." In "A 
Pleasant Grove of Xew Fancies," by H. R. 8vo, Loudon, 1857, p. 76, 

we have : — 

" A charm to bring in the witch, 
To house the hag you must do this : 
Commix with meal, a little p — 
Of him bewitched ; then forthwith make 
A little wafer or a cake ; 
And this rarely baked, will bring 
The old hag iu ; no surer thing," 

Among other methods given for baffling witches and making their 
evil deeds turn upon themselves, we find : " taking some of the thatch 
from over the door; or a tyle, if the house be tyled . . . sprinkle it 
over with the patient's water. . . . Put salt into the patient's water 
and dash it upon the red hot tyle." Another : heat a horse-shoe red hot 
and "quench him in the patient's urine. . . . Having the patient's 
urine, set it over the fire. . . . Put into it three horse-nails and a 
little salt. ... Or, heat a horse-shoe red hot " and " quench him sev- 
eral times in the urine." Still another : ''stop the urine of the patient 
close up in a bottle, and put into it three nails, pins, or needles, with a 
little white salt, keeping the urine always warm." — (Brand, "Pop. 
Ant." vol. iii. pp. 1 70 et seq. art. " Sorcery and "Witchcraft.") 

" To ascertain if one be bewitched, take his urine and boil it in a 
new, unused pot ; if it foam up, he is not bewitched ; if not, it is uncer- 
tain. Or, take clean ashes, put them in a new pot, let the patient 
urinate thereon. Tie up the pot, and let it stand in the sun ; then 
break the ashes apart ; if the person be bewitched, hairs will be found 
therein." — (Pa ullini, pp. 260, 261.) 


" Neither can I belieue (I speak it with reuerence unto graue judg- 
ments) that . . . the burning of the dung or vriue of such as are be- 
witched, or floating bodies aboue the water, or the Uke, are any trial of 
a witch." — ("A Short Discouerie of the Unobserued Dangers of 
Seuerall sorts of Ignorant and Vnconsiderate Practisers of Physicke 
in England," John Cotta, London, 1G12, p. 54.) 

Beckherius inclined to believe that human teeth, taken medicinally, 
would break down witchcraft : " Contra raaleficia et veneficia prodesse 
scribit." — (" Med. Microcosmus," p. 265.) 

On New Year's Day they (the Highlanders) burn juniper before 
their cattle, and on the first Monday in every quarter, sprinkle them 
with urine." — (" Pennant's Tour in Scotland," in Pinkerton, vol. iii. 
p. 90.) 

" Les rustres slaves secouaient sur leur b<^tail des herbes de la Saint 
Jean, bouillies dans de I'urine pour le preserver des mauvais sortes." — 
("Les Primitifs," Eeclus, p. 98.) 

We should not forget that from the earliest recorded times the 
cedar and juniper have been devoted to sacred offices. " The god of 
the cedar, to which tree was ascribed a peculiar power to avert fatal 
influences and sorcery." (This, among the Accadians, the earliest known 
inhabitants of Mesopotamia.) — See " Chaldean Magic," Lenormant, p. 

From a very early date, urine seems to have been symbolized or 
superseded by holy water, salt and water, "celestial water," "fore- 
spoken water," juniper water, or wine or water, according to circum- 
stances. " For lung disorders in cattle. . . . take fennel and hassock, 
etc. . . . make five crosses of hassuck-gi-ass, set them on four sides of 
the cattle, and one in the middle ; sing about the cattle Benedicam, 
etc. . . . Sprinkle holy water upon them, burn about them incense." 
— ("Saxon Leechdoms," vol. iii. p. 57; the same remedy for diseased 
sheep, idem, p. 57.) 

" If a horse or other beast be shot (elf-shot) take seed of dock and 
Scotch wax, let a mass priest sing twelve masses over them, and put 
holy water on the horse." — (Idem, vol. iii. p. 47 ; again, vol, iii. p. 

" When a contagious disease enters among cattle, the fire is extin- 
guished in some villages round ; then they force fire with a wheel, or 
by rubbing a piece of dry wood upon another, and therewith bum 
juniper in the stalls of the cattle that the smoke may purify the air 
about them ; they likewise boil juniper in water which they sprinkle 


upon the cattle." — (Brand, "Pop. Ant." vol. iii. p. 286, art. "Physi- 
cal Charms," quoting Shaw's "History of the Province of Moray in 
Scotland." Brand thinks that "this is, no doubt, a Druid custom.") 

Scot, in his "Discoverie " (p. 157), says : " Men are preserved from 
witchcraft by sprinkling of holy water," etc. (Idem, vol. i. p. 19, art. 
" Sorcery.") " For the devils are observed to have delicate nostrils, 
abominating and flying some kind of stinks; witness the flight of the 
evil spirit into the remote parts of Egypt, driven by the smell of the 
fish's liver, burnt by Tobit." Conjurors are reported as always care- 
ful to " first exorcise the wine and water which they sprinkle on their 
circle." — (Idem, vol. iii. pp. 55, 57, art. " Sorcery.") 

The foul condition of the atmosphere of sleeping-apartments was 
supposed to be rectified by the burning of juniper, sometimes of rose- 
mary. " He doth sacrifice two pence in juniper to her every morning." 
(" Every Man out of his Humor," Ben Jonson) " Then put fresh water 
into both the bough-pots, and burn a little juniper in the hall chimney, 
Like a beast, as I was, I pissed out the fire last night." (" Mayor 
of Tumborough," Beaumont and Fletcher.) "Burn a little juniper in 
my murrin ; the maid made it in her chamber-pot." — (" Cupid's Rev." 
Beaumont and Fletcher, iv. 3 ; contributed by Dr. Fletcher.) 

The diuretic eff'ects of juniper berries are well known ; we may con- 
jecture that the " water of juniper" superseded another fluid induced 
by the use of the berries. 

The " fore-spoken water " with which sick cattle are sprinkled in the 
Orkneys, is still to be noted in places in the Highlands. — (See Brand, 
"Pop. Ant." vol. iii. p. 274, art. "Physical Charms.") 

The following spell is from Herrick's " Hesperides," p. 304 : — 

" Holy water come and bring ; 
Cast in salt for seasoning ; 
Set the brush for sprinkling." 

(Idem, vol. iii. p. 58, art. " Sorcerer.") 

"The charmer muttered some words over water, in imitation of 
Catholic priests consecrating holy water." — (" Phil, of Magic," Sal- 
verte, p. 52. Shetland Islands.) 

According to Dalyell, this "fore-spoken water" was made of water, 
salt, and the saliva of the conjurer. — (See "Superstitions of Scot- 
land," p. 98.) 

♦' For information of a cherished relative and his fate, in the other 


world, they apply to the fetich-priest, who takes a little child and 
bathes his face with liistral-water. " — (" Fetichism," Baudiiij p. 65.) 

The "lustral water" of the foregoing paragraph, is made of "snails 
and vegetable butter." — (Idem, p. 88.) 

Reginald Scot gives a "cure" for one "possessed," one point of 
which is that the victim " must mingle holy water with his meate and 
his drink, and holy salt also must be a portion of the mixture." 
("Discoverie," p. 178.) Witches were required to drink holy water at 
their trials. — (Idem, p. 21.) 

Salt was called "divine" by the ancients. — (See "Morals," Plu- 
tarch, Goodwin's English edit., Boston, 1870, vol. iii. p. 338.) 

" Both Greeks and Romans mixed salt with their sacrificial cakes ; 
in their lustrations, also, they made use of salt and water, which gave 
rise, in after times, to the superstition of holy water." — (Brand 
"Pop. Ant." vol. iii. p. 161, art. "Salt Falling.") 

The Scottish use of salt and water, as already noted, is described by 
Black ("Folk Medicine," p. 23); and by Isapier (" Folk-Lore," pp. 
36, 37.) 

Salt is put in the cradle of a new-born babe in Holland. — ("Times," 
New York, Nov. 10, 1889.) "No one will go out on any material 
affairs without putting some salt in their pockets ; much less remove 
from one house to another, marry, put out a child, or take one to 
nurse, without salt being interchanged." (Dalyell, " Superst. of 
Scotland," p. 9G.) Salt is not used by the Eastern Inuit : " Le sel 
leur repngne, peut-etre parceque I'atmosphere et les poissons crus eu 
sont deja satur^s." — ("Les Primitifs," Reclus, p. 33.) 

Having shown that witches were exorcised in France, England, Scot- 
land, etc., by sprinkling with urine, we have reason to claim the follow- 
ing treatment to be at least cousin-german to our subject. In the 
west of Scotland, a peasant suffering from a mysterious and obstinate 
disease, was reputed to be under the influence of the ." evil eye." 
The following remedy was then resorted to : " An old sixpence is bor- 
rowed from some neighbor, without telling the object to which it is to 
be applied ; as much salt as can be lifted upon the sixpence is put into 
a tablespoonful of water and melted ; the sixpence is then put into the 
solution, and the soles of the feet and palms of the hands of the patient 
are moistened three times with the salt water ; it is then tasted three 
times, and the patient 'scored aboun the breath,' that is, by the 
operator dipping the fore-finger into the salt water and drawing it 
along the brow. When this is done, the coutents of the spoon are 


thrown behind and right over the fire, the throwers at the same time 
saying: 'Lord preserve us from all scathe.'" — (Brand, "Pop. Ant." 
vol. iii. p. 47, art. "Fascination of Witches.") 

Wright calls attention to the fact that at the meetings of witches, 
"at times, every article of luxury was placed before them, and they 
feasted in the most sumptuous manner. Often, however, the meats 
served on the table were nothing but toads and rats, and other articles 
of a revolting nature. In general they had no salt, and but seldom 
bread." After these feasts came " wild and uproarious dancing and 
revelry. . . . Their backs, instead of their faces, were turned inwards. 
... It may be observed, as a curious circumstance, that the modern 
■waltz is first traced among the meetings of the witches and their imps. 
. . . The songs were generally obscene or vulgar, or ridiculous." — 
("Sorcery and Magic," Thomas Wright, London, 1851, pp. 310, 311, 
328, 329.) 

Eeginald Scot also states that the waltz was derived from the dance 
of the witches. — (See '* Discoverie," p. 36.) 

The presents which the devil gave to witches all turned into filth 
the next morning. — (See Grimm, " Teut. Mythol.," vol. iii. p. 1070.) 

For a specimen of the filthy in literature, read the dream of Zador 
of Vera Cruz, who wished to sell his soul to the devil, iti " El Bachiller 
de Salamanca," Le Sage, Paris, 1847, part iv. cap. 2, p. 129. 

The best explanation of the above story — which represents Zador as 
making a compact with his Satanic majesty whereby in exchange for 
Zador 's soul the devil discloses a gold mine in a graveyard, from which 
the poor dupe extracts enough for his present needs, and then marks 
the locality by an ingenious method, only to be awakened by his angry 
wife to the mortifying consciousness that he has defiled his own bed 
— is that it reflects the current opinion of the Spaniards of Le Sage's 
era in regard to the transmutability of the gifts received from the evil 
one. See the story of the god " Kutka." 

" Popular tales, which most frequently arise from traditions . . . 
are remnants of olden times, and illustrate them. . . . When a vicious 
or evil spirit is mentioned in any tale or popular tradition, I consider 
it always implies a reminiscence of some being who formerly, during 
the supremacy of a religion now rejected, was worshipped as a god. 
He is considered to benefit his worshippers, but to molest those who 
hold another belief. Mankind, when in a rude state, often attribute 
their own intolerance to their gods. Thus mankind creates his own 
god after his own image." — (Seven Nillson, •' The Primitive Inhabi- 



tants of Scandinavia," edited by Sir John Lubbock, London, 18G8, 
Preface, liii.) 

Speculation would lead to no profitable result were we to endeavor 
by its aid — the only means now left us — to fathom the obscurity 
surrounding the rites and dances, and especially the foods of those 
witches' gatherings. 

Doctor Dupuoy, in " Le Moyen Age Medical," to which special at- 
tention is due, advances an opinion which seems to cover much of the 
ground in a logical manner. This in one word, amounts to the belief 
that the witches' gatherings of Europe were not figments of the imagi- 
nation, but really existed, and were the conventions of votaries of the 
cults stamped out of existence, and only traceable in the distorted and 
outlandish features which would most naturally commend themselves 
to an ignorant peasantry. " Among these sorcerers there were old pan- 
derers, who knew from personal experience all practices of debauchery, 
and who gave the name of 'vigils' to the saturnalia indulged in among 
villagers on certain nights, — gatherings composed of bawds and pimps, 
to which were invited numerous novices in libidinousness. These sor- 
cerers and witches also knew the remedies that young girls must take 
when they wish to destroy the physiological results of their own im- 
prudence, and what old men needed to restore their virility. They 
knew the medicinal qualities of plants, especially those that stupefied." 
— (Translated by T. C. Minor, M.D., under title of " Medicine iu the 
Middle Ages," p. 40.) 

Tiie initiates in witchcraft may have been compelled to adopt loath- 
some foods as a test of the sincerity of their purposes, or they may 
have taken them to induce an intoxication such as that of the Zuflis of 
New Mexico and the wild tribes of Siberia. There is still another 
hypothesis to be considered before relinquishing this topic. The best 
food, we know, was always offered to the deities of the ruling sect, and the 
\ise of any of the appurtenants of the rites of the ruling religion in the 
ceremonial of a superseded cult was looked upon as the veriest sacrilege 
and blasphemy. For example, the use of holy water at the witches' 
sabbath was considered a worse crime than that of being a witch. 
Therefore we may conclude that, as the votaries of the superseded 
religion did not dare to employ the best, they necessarily had to fall back 
upon inferior material out of which to construct their oblations ; and 
as they assembled generally in mountain recesses, in caves, tetc, where 
nothing better could be had, they offered themselves in sacrifice, — 
that is, they recurred to the old practices of human sacrifice, if indeed 


they had ever abandoned them, and gave the pledges of their own 
hair, saliva, urine, and egestse. 

" Pure prayer ascends to Him that High doth sit, 
Down falls the filth for fiends of Hell more fit." 

Such was the answer made to the father of lies by a venerable 

monk, — 

" A godly father sitting on a draught, 
To do as need and nature hath us taught." 

The devil had reproached him for saying his prayers at such a moment. 
— (Haringtou, "Ajax," pp. 33, 34.) 

Mooney relates an instance of the abduction of an Irishwoman by 
fairies. She managed to impart to her husband the knowledge of the 
means by which her rescue could be accomplished : " He must be ready 
with some urine and some chicken-dung, which he must throw upon 
her, and then seize her. . . . Soon he heard the fairies approaching, 
and when the noise came in front of him he threw the dung and urine 
in the direction of the sound, and saw his wife fall from her horse." 
(*' The Medical Mythology of Ireland," James Mooney, Amer. Phil. So- 
ciety, 1887.) The Irish peasantry firmly believe in the power of the 
fairies to carry off their children ; to effect a restoration, " a wise 
woman " is summoned, whose method is to " heat the shovel in the 
fireplace, place the changeling upon it, and put it out upon the dung- 
hill." (Idem.) " Fire, iron, and dung, the three great safeguards 
against the influence of fairies and the infernal spirits." — (Idem.) 

The peasantry of Ireland carry about the person " medicine bags " 
very much like those in use among the North American Indians. 
Among the contents of these bags ** are usually found tobacco, garlic, 
salt, chicken-dung, lus-crea, and some dust from the roadside." (Idem.) 
This is " carried as a protection against the fairies ; . • . also as a 
protection against the evil eye ; and something of the same nature is 
sewed into the clothing of the bride when her friends are preparing 
her for the marriage ceremony." — (Idem.) 

" A charm to be said each morning by a witch fasting, or at least 
before she goes abroad : ' The fire bite, the fire bite ; hog's turd over 
it, hog's turd over it, hog's turd over it ! The Father with thee ; the 
Son with thee ; the Holy Ghost between us both to be ! ' This last 
refrain three times ; then spit over one shoulder, and then over the 
other, and then three times right forward." — (Scot, " Discoverie," 
p. 177.) 


" Item. They hang . . . garlicke in the roof of the house for to 
keep away witches aud spirits, . . . and so they do alicium hkewise," 
— (Idem, p. 192.) 

GarHc was put in the cradle of a new-born babe in Holland. — 
("Times," New York, Nov. 10, 1889.) 

Garlic could not be eaten by the monks or nuns of Thibet (Bhiks- 
huni) ; to eat it was considered a siu. " 140. Si une Bhikshuni mange 
de Tail," etc. But in a footnote it is stated that it might be eaten 
when it was the only remedy for some disease or infirmity ; but even 
then the patient should not enter a dormitory, a latrine, could not ex-v 
pound the law, mingle with brahmins, enter a park, a market, or a 
temple until he had undergone a three days' purification, been bathed 
and fumigated. — (See " Pratimoksha Sutra," translated by W. W. 
Rockhill, Paris, 1885, Societe Asiatique.) 




" ^T^HE bawds of Amsterdam believed (in 1637) that horse's dung 
-*- dropped before the house and put fresh behind the door . . . 
would bring good luck to their houses." — (" Le Putanisme d'Amster- 
dam," p. 56, quoted in Brand, " Popular Antiquities," vol. iii. p. 18, 
article " Sorcery.") 

While a sacred origin cannot be claimed for prostitution in general, 
all, or nearly all, temples must in the early ages of mankind have been 
provided with prostitutes. The necessity for such a provision is obvi- 
ous. Man's superstition and ignorance invested certain localities, or 
the guardian spirits of those localities, with the power to work him 
weal or woe, unless kept in good humor by oblations and sacrifices. 
Temples were erected on such foundations, tended by priests, who 
waxed fat and enriched themselves, because the right of asylum at- 
tached to their position, although such a right did not absolutely attach 
to the little communities which insensibly grew up around these 
temples. The necessities of national administration and of interna- 
tional or inter-tribal arbitration, would naturally attract periodically to 
those temples the law-makers, the great chiefs and their followers, per- 
haps to settle their disputes or arrange their treaties by personal dis- 
cussion, perhaps by the decision of the arch-priest. 

At such gatherings, no inconsiderable amount of barter and traffic 
would spring up, and many, of a mercantile turn of mind, would realize 
the advantages of a permanent residence. The sailors and merchants 
from foreign parts could not always be expected to behave with pro- 
priety ; they might, at times, be as anxious to " paint the town red " 
as the western cowboy is whenever he is paid off. The women of the 
city would be in constant danger of insult ; hence, as a wise pre- 
caution, a certain class of young and attractive females were reserved 
for the service of the temples, — that is, for the gratification of the 
sexual passions of strangers and the enrichment of the priests. 


Indeed, until some such mode of detail had been devised and car- 
ried into effect, and perhaps long after that, it seems to have been the 
custom for all the women of the city to share in this duty ; we read 
that, at the temple of Mylitta, it was incumbent upon each woman to 
prostitute herself with a stranger at least once in her life, at the temple 
of that goddess. 

The priests would impart to the prostitutes a knowledge of charms 
intended to secure good fortune ; these charms would, in course of 
time, be adopted by prostitutes in general, who had no connection 
with the temple at all. Similar survivals can be traced among gam- 
blers. Gambling was at one time a sacred method of divination. 
Those who cast omens were always on the lookout for good signs and 
bad. One of the best signs was to meet a man with a hump-back. 
Gamblers to-day consider themselves fortunate when they can rub the 
hump of a cripple. 

This sacred prostitution was by no means confined to the Babylo- 
nians. The Hebrews had, attached to their temples, a class of persons 
of both sexes termed " Kadeshim," to whom the opprobrious office of 
public prostitution has been attributed ; and in numerous other parts 
of the world the same sort of personal degradation has been reported. 
The women devoted to this service wore a certain uniform. (See Du- 
laure, " Des Differents Cultes," vol. ii. p. 75, speaking of the " Kade- 
shoth." See also Smith's "Dictionary of the Bible," New York, 1871, 
articles, " Harlot " and " Sodomite.") 

" The sons of Eli lay with the women that assembled at the door of 
the tabernacle of the congregation." — (1 Samuel ii. 22.) 

" Throughout India, and also through the densely inhabited parts 
of Asia and modem Turkey, there is a class of females who dedicate 
themselves to the service of the Deity whom they adore, and the 
rewards accruing from their prostitution are devoted to the service of 
the temple and the priests officiating therein. The temples of the 
Hindus in the Dekkan possessed these establishments. They had 
bands of consecrated dancing-girls, called " women of the idol," selected 
in their infancy by the priests for the beauty of their persons, and 
trained up with every elegant accomplishment that could render them 
attractive." — (" The Masculine Cross," privately printed, 188G, p. 31.) 

Rf'clus has a dissertation upon this subject, which concludes in these 
words : " Aussi Juvenal se permettait de demander, . . . Quel est le 
temple ou les femmes ne se prostituent pas'!" — ("Les Primitifs," 
p. 79.) 


Lenormant speaks of " the sacred prostitution, which was imposed 
once, at least, in a lifetime, upon all women, even those who were 
free." — (" Chaldean Magic," Francois Lenormant, p. 386.) 

"Caindu is an heathenish nation, where, in honor of their idols, 
they prostitute their wives, sisters, and daughters to the lust of trav- 
ellers." — (Vurchas, vol. v. p. 430. Caindu seems to have been a 
territory adjacent to Thibet.) 

" Sometimes, at the command of a wizard, a man orders his wife to 
go to an appointed place, usually a wood, and abandon herself to the 
first person she meets. Yet there are women who refuse to comply 
with such orders." — (Patagonia, " Voyage of Adventure and Beagle," 
vol. ii. p. 154.) 

" The people of Khasrowan, a Christian province in the Libanus, 
inhabited by a peculiarly prurient race, also hold high festival under 
the far-famed cedars, and their women sacrifice to Venus, like the 
* Kadeshah ' of the Phoenicians. This survival of old superstition is 
unknown to missionary ' hand-books,' but amply deserves the study 
of the anthropologist." — (Burton, " Arabian Nights," terminal essay, 
vol. X. 230.) 

The religious prostitution of the ancient Babylonians seems also to 
survive, in a small degree, in the petty hamlets of Kesfin and Mar- 
taouan, near Aleppo, in Syria. '' The women carry their hospital- 
ity as far as those of Babylon of old. This authorized prostitution 
seems to be a remnant of the old Asiatic superstitions." — (Maltebmn, 
" Universal Geography," vol. i. p. 353, lib. 28.) Dulaure cites the 
case of Martuoau, and also quotes Marco Polo in evidence of the ex- 
istence of the same practices in Kamul, near Tanguth. — (" Des Dif. 
Cultes," vol. ii. pp. 598, 599.) 

" Most eastern temples, and especially those connected with the 
solar cult, had, and for the most part still have, * Deva-Dasis ' temple, 
or * God's women,' the followers of Mylitta, though generally not 
seated so confessedly nor so prominently as those whom Herodotus 
describes. They were doubtless the women with mirrors (Ezek. 
viii. 14) who wept for Tamuz, the sun-god." ("Rivers of Life," 
Forlong, vol. i. p. 329.) The African goddess Odudua promised pro- 
tection "to all those who would establish themselves in this place, and 
erect to her a temple in place of the cabin. !Many persons came and 
established themselves here, and thus was founded Ado, which means 
prostitution in memory of the goddess." — (" Fetichism," Baudin, p. 1 7.) 
" The temple erected in this city is celebrated among the blacks. 


The neighboring kings offer an ox to the goddess on her feast-day, 
and, in accordance with the legend, impure games are celebrated 
in her honor." — (Idem.) 

" In the Babylonian worship of the goddess Mylitta, the women 
■who offered themselves for a price to the stranger at the door of the 
temple were distinguished by a peculiar apparel, according to Baruch. 
. . . The women sit in the ways, girded with cordes of rushes and 
burnt straw, " and "their resting-places distinguished with cords." — 
(Purchas's "Pilgrims," vol. v. p. 56, art. " Hondius' Babylonia.") 

In Ireland, at the present day, the peasantry make use, in divina- 
tion and witchcraft, of " Saint Bridget's cord," made of rushes, and 
corresponding closely to the cord of the goddess Mylitta. 

We are not informed that horns were assumed as a distinctive fea- 
ture of such uniform, but we are constantly kept in mind of the fact 
that many, if not all, of the deities of the countries adjacent to the 
Mediterranean were at one time or another represented with horns as 
symbols of